BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union wants to boost production of vaccines and drugs in Latin America by investing more in the region and by sharing technologies and regulatory practices, the head of the European Commission said on Wednesday.
Under attack in developing countries for blocking a global temporary waiver on COVID-19 vaccine patents, the EU has launched several initiatives to boost production of pharmaceuticals in poorer nations, starting with investments in Africa.
Now Brussels is trying to replicate that model in Latin America.
“The health partnership we are launching today will create stronger, more resilient health systems in Latin America,” Ursula von der Leyen said.
The partnership would entail more funding to the Latin American pharmaceutical industry, in addition to 890 million euros ($942.4 million) the EU and its countries are already investing in health projects in the region together with partners such as the Inter-American Development Bank ($1 = 0.9444 euros).
“More will come. We are currently defining our financial support to the biotech sector in Cuba and Mexico,” von der Leyen said, adding that the Commission was exploring possible investments also in Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Colombia.
She said the bloc was also committed to sharing health technologies with Latin American countries, to conducting research together and to cooperating on strengthening the regulatory environment.
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