Don’t wait for charity from pharmaceutical companies, civil society tells UN

Don’t wait for charity from pharmaceutical companies, civil society tells UN

Release date: 10 May 2023

Remarks from the People’s Vaccine Alliance to the UN meeting on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response

At the United Nations Multistakeholder Hearings in preparation of the General Assembly High-level Meetings on the Fight against Tuberculosis, Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response and Universal Health Coverage, Dr Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Policy Co-Lead for the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said:

“The current COVID crisis, HIV, Ebola, all of the crises before, must put health at the top of the priority agenda for all world leaders.

“However, maintaining the current system of access to medical technology will just maintain monopoly, maintain inequality, create the same systems, the same results, that we had with HIV when people were dying while medicines were around, and that we have now for COVID vaccines.

“Therefore, we think that the declaration should have clear commitment from governments to enable local production as a way of ensuring sustained supply of countermeasures. That means commitment to sharing technology, removing intellectual property barriers, investing in R&D in the South – by Southern governments and by everybody else – and investing in actual manufacturing. Without these, we will not have sustained production of countermeasures.

“Also, implementing conditionalities in public financing for R&D and for purchasing. And transparency and accountability mechanisms to enable civil society and community participation in decision-making and monitoring.

“Finally, we have to be honest and say that ACT-A and COVAX failed Africa. Therefore, the declaration should ensure that it is enabling countries and regions in the South to lead and take decisions about financing and delivering and making these products. And not just wait for charity from pharmaceutical companies that make enormous profit at the expense of public health.”



A recording of the remarks is available

The People Vaccine Alliance is a coalition of over 100 organisations and networks, supported by Nobel Laureates, health experts, economists, Heads of State, faith leaders, and activists, working together for a People’s Vaccine, available free of charge to everyone, everywhere. We work together for equitable access to medical technologies relevant to the prevention and response to pandemics.