Global South urges rich countries to lift monopolies on Covid-19 medical products – PSI – Unions For Trade Justice

Global South urges rich countries to lift monopolies on Covid-19 medical products – PSI

Ahead of critical talks at the World Trade Organization (WTO), civil society and trade unions from the Global South called on rich countries’ leaders to stop blocking a proposal to waive certain intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines and other medical products.

This landmark proposal to temporarily suspend the application and enforcement of certain intellectual property obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), or the “TRIPS waiver” is to facilitate the effective prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19.

Developing countries have stressed that the “TRIPS waiver”is an essential starting point for countries to ramp up and diversify the production of therapeutics, vaccines and other medical products needed to address the global pandemic.

However, a handful of countries — mostly those who have a stake in the protection of monopoly-based pharmaceutical industry — including the European Union, the United States, Japan, Switzerland, and Canada, have been blocking the waiver.

Read more on the PSI website.

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