Covid-19 dampens Christmas in Japan. AP Photo
March 11 marks the beginning of the third year of COVID-19 pandemic. Global response has been a colossal failure as evidenced by the vast inequities prevailing in access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, worsening the effects of COVID-19 in the developing world. Meanwhile Big Pharma enjoys big profits enabled by intellectual property monopolies. The TRIPS Waiver proposal, co-sponsored by 65 countries and supported globally, aims to scale-up and diversify production to ensure equitable access. However, due to the continued opposition of certain developed countries and in particular the European Union, the WTO has yet to deliver a meaningful outcome on the proposal. Reportedly, high-level discussions are underway to find a way forward. Senior WTO officials claim that no one side will be completely happy with the final outcome, even arguing that vaccines should be dealt with before therapeutics and diagnostics.
The panel discussion will feature civil society leaders experienced in the politics and dynamics of IP and access to medicines, and will provide their perspectives on the current state of play with respect to the TRIPS Waiver and the implications for access.
Prof. Brook Baker, Health Gap
Lori Wallach, Rethink Trade
Leena Menghaney, MSF Access campaign
Felipe de Carvalho, Brazilian Interdisciplinary Aids Association (ABIA)
Othman Mellouk, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC)
Sangeeta Shashikant, Third World Network
International Treatment Preparedness Coalition
Our World is Not For Sale
People’s Health Movement
-Third World Network