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WTO Wades Into Vaccine Feud as Merkel, Pharma Balk at Biden Plan

  • WTO chief has idea for a middle path on IP protection
  • Germany underscores opposition to waiving vaccine patents
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WATCH: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is weighing in against the U.S. proposal to waive patent protections for covid-19 vaccines. (Source: Bloomberg)
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The pharmaceutical companies hate it. The Biden administration is embracing it. Now, finding common ground for wider distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in poorer countries falls to the World Trade Organization -- a body known more for its inability to do international deals than to clinch them.

Drug companies have a powerful ally in Germany, along with other nations, opposing a waiver of rules protecting the intellectual property behind the vaccines. When the U.S. backed that waiver, it sent shares of American and European vaccine makers tumbling on Wednesday.