Genetic Material and Sequence Data to Protect Global Health in the Light of Pandemic Outbreaks: Mapping the Legal Landscape under European and International Law

In: European Journal of Health Law
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  • 1 Visiting Professor, Faculty of Law and Criminology, University of Ghent, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Center for Life Sciences Law (CLSL), University of Basel, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Centre for the Law of Life Sciences, University of Bonn, Ghent, Belgium

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The current pandemic outbreak of corona virus SARS-CoV-2 shows the need for comprehensive European cooperation in drug development and the importance of genetic material and sequence data in research concerning this unknown disease. As corona virus SARS-CoV-2 is spreading across Europe and worldwide, national authorities and the European Union (EU) institutions do their utmost to address the pandemic and accelerate innovation to protect global health. In order to be prepared and to be able to respond immediately to serious epidemic and pandemic diseases, the EU has already adopted the Decision No (EU) 1082/2013 on serious cross-border threats to health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has established a global system to collect genetic material and information to protect a global influenza pandemic outbreak. The article describes the current legal landscape under EU and international law.