BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Senate on Wednesday approved a bill authorizing the president to temporarily break patents for vaccines and their ingredients in health or public emergencies, such as the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill, having already passed in the lower house, will go to President Jair Bolsonaro for possible signature.
Bolsonaro has spoken against the proposal, saying it could harm Brazil’s relationship with vaccine producers and that the country would not have the technology to produce some vaccines even if the patents were broken.
The Senate restored some provisions removed by the lower house, including some that would require patent holders to share information and biological material necessary to reproduce vaccines and potential penalties should they not comply.
(Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; writing by Jake Spring; editing by Grant McCool)