Sunday, May 26, 2013

WHO warns of hoarding coronavirus secrets

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned countries with possible cases of the SARS-like novel coronavirus on Thursday that they must share information and not allow commercial labs to profit from the virus, which has killed 22 people worldwide.

Saudi Arabia, where the first case occurred, has said the development of diagnostic tests for the disease has been delayed by a foreign laboratory's patent rights on the SARS-like virus.

"Making deals between scientists because they want to take IP (intellectual property), because they want to be the world's first to publish in scientific journals, these are issues we need to address," WHO Director General Margaret Chan told health ministers attending the WHO's annual conference in Geneva.

"No IP will stand in the way of public health actions."