Suspend Covid-19 patents during the pandemic

We are facing a devastating vaccine apartheid where high-income countries like the UK have hoarded doses, leaving countries in the global south - many who are now facing deadly third waves - with little or none.

We are in this situation because Big Pharma, protected by intellectual property rules, hold the patents and the know-how behind the medicines. They get to decide who can make their vaccines, tests or treatments.

Join us in writing to the new permanent representative of the UK to the World Trade Organisation asking to back the proposal for the suspension of patents during the pandemic.

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This is a global pandemic which needs to be solved everywhere. Instead of restricting supplies, we should be ramping up production by mobilising as many manufacturers as possible to ensure there are enough doses and other critical medical tools for everyone. If we don’t, the virus will continue to mutate rendering the vaccines and treatments we have today potentially ineffective. We could all be back at square one.

The governments of India and South Africa, backed by over 100 countries including the US, are calling on the World Trade Organisation to temporarily suspend patent and trade-secret rules during the pandemic so that more manufacturers are able to start producing mass quantities of vaccines, tests and treatments to tackle this virus.
The UK Government has been one of the most outspoken parties opposing this proposal. We think this is wrong. The UK Government must put people before profit and stop blocking the proposal. We have the vaccines we need because we bought the lion’s share, we can’t now prevent other countries from making their own.
We call on you to do all you can to work towards supporting the TRIPS-waiver proposal.