Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of International Economic Law

Publication Title (Abbreviation)

J. Int'l Econ. L.





First Page



The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into stark relief the gaps in global preparedness to address widespread outbreaks of deadly viral infections. This article proposes legal mechanisms for addressing critical issues facing the international community in terms of providing equitable access to vaccines, treatments, diagnostics, and medical equipment. On the supply side, the authors propose the establishment of mandatory patent pools ('Licensing Facilities') on a global or regional, or even national basis, depending upon the degree of cooperation that maybe achieved. The authors also discuss the importance of creating shared production facilities. On the demand side, the authors propose the establishment of Regional Pharmaceutical Supply Centers (RPSCs) for the collective procurement of products, and the need to coordinate the issuance of necessary compulsory licenses for production and/or importation, depending on relevant circumstances. The authors envisage that centralized coordination by RPSCs should assist in overcoming difficulties individual countries may encounter in addressing administrative and technical issues in procuring supplies, as well as creating improved bargaining leverage with potential suppliers. The authors finally address the problem created by the decision of various high-income countries to 'opt out' as eligible importing countries under the World Trade Organization TRIPS Agreement Article 31bis amendment that addresses the predominant export of pharmaceutical products under compulsory licenses.