MSF urges rich countries to back COVID vaccine patent waiver
Photo source:
Spread the news

Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has urged rich countries to stop blocking a patent waiver plan to enhance the global production of coronavirus vaccines. 

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will convene on Thursday in virtually informal talks on the proposal to waive the rights of intellectual property to COVID-19 vaccines and other medical instruments associated with coronavirus for the duration of the pandemic.

“We’re at a point where we are seeing the stark realities between the haves and have-nots in this pandemic, and governments shouldn’t waste another minute to find solutions to stop this inequity.” 


Ahead of subsequent round of talks at the planet Trade Organization (WTO) to debate a proposal by South Africa and India to waive monopolies on COVID-19 medical tools during the pandemic, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) called on the rich countries opposing the proposal to not block it and ruin its life saving potential for billions of individuals within the remainder of the planet . As cases of COVID-19 still rise across the world , there’s no longer any waste and governments have to take leadership to make this waiver a reality.

Dr Sidney Wong, Executive Co-Director of MSF’s Access Campaign said that “We have an easy message to the governments opposing this landmark monopoly waiver proposal: please don’t block it.” “We don’t have A level playing field, so albeit you don’t need it otherwise you don’t agree; don’t stop other countries from taking advantage of this waiver to guard their own people,”. “This pandemic won’t be over until it’s over for everybody.”

The property (IP) waiver proposal aims to permit countries to settle to not enforce, apply or implement patents and other exclusivities that would impede the assembly. They will also provide COVID-19 medical tools, until global herd immunity is reached. If adopted, the waiver would send an important signal to potential manufacturers that they will start producing needed COVID-19 medical tools without worrying of being blocked by patents or other monopolies.

The proposal is now officially co-sponsored by Kenya, Mozambique, Pakistan, Eswatini, Bolivia, Mongolia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Egypt. However, a little group of WTO members, including the EU, UK, US, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador and Australia, still oppose it.

With the emergence of the latest strains of COVID-19, many countries in Africa are now battling a fast-spreading wave of the disease and an overwhelmed health care system,” said Dr Khosi Mavuso, Medical Representative for MSF in South Africa . “We are worried that without universal, affordable and equitable access to medical tools, the pandemic will last longer, impacting not just people with COVID-19, but also the capacity of health systems to supply immunisation, care and treatment for other diseases, causing more deaths and suffering. It’s plainly clear that this monopoly waiver seeks to prioritise human lives over private profits, so we turn countries to act fast and make it a reality.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the necessity to make sure global open access and therefore the right to supply and provide COVID-19 health technologies has been widely acknowledged. Yet despite efforts and statements made by several heads of state for COVID-19 medical products to be treated as ‘global public goods,’ little has been achieved during this reference to date. Pharmaceutical corporations still operate with impunity, for instance by signing secretive bilateral commercial licensing and buy agreements that undermine access for vulnerable and neglected people in many low- and middle-income countries.

We call on countries opposing this critical waiver to stop using delay tactics and instead demonstrate global solidarity by not blocking this waiver,” said Menghaney. “The clock is ticking and so many lives are at stake.


Even though the waiver proposal offers a chance to all or any countries to collectively take a stand over corporate monopolies on COVID19 medical production and provide , the opposing countries still use delay tactics to stall the method . within the past three months of discussions at the WTO, it’s reported that countries sponsoring the waiver proposal have repeatedly demonstrated challenges faced thanks to IP barriers within the pandemic and their inability to rely neither on the prevailing legal options, nor companies’ voluntary actions to make sure global

access to COVID-19 medical tools. Yet, opposing countries still delay the likelihood of reaching footing and moving the method forward.

The sole interest of pharmaceutical corporations within the legal system has always been to use it as a business strategy to dam competition, maintain monopoly status and keep prices high,” said Leena Menghaney, South Asia Head of MSF’s Access Campaign. “In this raging pandemic, countries who have traditionally backed pharmaceutical corporations must quit protecting their business interests.”

Source: Médecins Sans Frontières

Subscribe to The Times Of Africa

Subscribe to our email newsletter for useful tips and valuable resources, sent out every Tuesday.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *