Equity not an optional extra in Pandemic Treaty, civil society says

Equity not an optional extra in Pandemic Treaty, civil society says

Release Date: 24 May 2023

Responding to the leaked redrafted Pandemic Accord text, Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Policy Co-Lead for the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said:

“The Pandemic Accord is the world’s great chance to right the wrongs of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this new draft is weak on practical actions to secure equitable access to medical products, and lacks the concrete measures needed to mandate the sharing of technology and know-how with developers in low and middle-income countries. An essential clause which would waive intellectual property rules in pandemics remains, but it is framed as ‘optional.’ Equity is not an optional extra.

“Rich countries and pharmaceutical companies seem to want lower-income countries to share pathogens without any commitment to share medical products, technology, or knowhow in return. They don’t want to recognise that it’s a two-way street. If they want access to pathogens – and to profit from resulting countermeasures – they need to guarantee benefits in return.

“COVID-19 and HIV before it clearly showed that we cannot depend on the good will of pharmaceutical companies to ensure equitable access. In reality, pharmaceutical companies sold doses to the richest countries for the highest profits. Poorer nations were left at the back in the queue. We’ve had enough of warm words. We need strong binding commitments.”

Note for editors:
This is a reaction to a leaked redrafted Pandemic Accord text, reported and published by Health Policy Watch.

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