MSF’s international president appeals to governments, including the US, to stop stonewalling the process
NEW YORK/GENEVA, MARCH 9, 2021—As governments meet for another round of talks at the World Trade Organization (WTO) tomorrow, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is urging the US and other governments to stop blocking a landmark waiver on intellectual property (IP) on COVID-19 medical products. Governments should immediately stop stonewalling and allow formal negotiations at the WTO to start. The temporary waiver would apply to certain IP on COVID-19 medical tools and technologies until herd immunity is reached.
“Even after one year of this pandemic—and 2.5 million deaths—we still see certain governments denying that removing monopolies on COVID-19 medical tools will help increase people’s access to needed treatments, vaccines, and tests going forward,” said Dr. Christos Christou, MSF’s international president. “The waiver proposal offers all governments opportunities to take action for better collaboration in development, production, and supply of COVID medical tools without being restricted by private industry’s interests and actions. And, crucially, it would give governments all available tools to ensure global access. Countries must stop stonewalling and show the leadership required to deliver on the ‘global solidarity’ they have so often declared during this pandemic. It’s time to champion access to medical tools for everyone, wherever they live.”