MSF to governments negotiating at the WTO: getting it right and adopting the real TRIPS waiver – Monde

To effectively increase people’s access to all COVID medical tools, governments must revert to the TRIPS waiver proposed over 20 months ago

Geneva, June 6, 2022

Background: At the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Council meeting (7 June) and the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (12-15 June), governments are expected to continue negotiations on a draft problematic text presented in early May which, if adopted as is in its current state, could set a negative precedent for efforts to increase access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tests today and in the coming.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has once again urged governments to reject this draft text from early May and seize this opportunity to adopt the real “TRIPS waiver” – proposed 20 months ago and supported by more than 100 governments – because it provides an effective way to help increase people’s access to all COVID medical tools.

Yuanqiong Hu, Senior Legal and Policy Advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign:

“The original TRIPS waiver proposed 20 months ago was intended to address intellectual property barriers for all COVID medical tools by making it easier for any country to increase production and supply during the pandemic, so its adoption should have been an urgent and essential priority for the world. response to the pandemic. This is the last chance for governments to finally do the right thing and return to the original spirit of the proposed TRIPS waiver that has received the support of over 100 governments, international health institutions, civil society groups and millions of people around the world – the resounding call has been that there should be no monopolies in a pandemic.

People’s access to important COVID treatments and diagnostics remains challenging in many developing countries in part due to intellectual property barriers and restrictive licensing from pharmaceutical companies – the initial TRIPS waiver would help overcome these barriers and to empower countries by providing vital medical tools for their people. In the context of a pandemic which, according to WHO estimates, has already claimed almost 15 million lives, and in which there have been serious inequalities in access to medical tools, we want to see governments Urgently propose a genuine intellectual property waiver that covers treatments, vaccines and tests and is free to all countries.

We are seriously concerned that the text currently being used as the basis for the negotiations is categorically different from the original TRIPS waiver proposal and contains multiple issues that need to be addressed thoroughly. We don’t want to see a WTO ruling that could lead us in the wrong direction and end up setting a negative precedent, including limiting existing public health safeguards.

For more information/interviews, please contact: Shailly Gupta, +41 79 203 13 02 (also on WhatsApp), [email protected]

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