WHO’s Tedros Sides with Big Pharma on Patents

In Global Advocacy, Global Featured, News by Brian Shepherd

In light of recent reports that World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is backtracking on his support for a waiver on COVID-19 vaccine patents to be expanded to diagnostics and therapeutics, AIDS Healthcare Foundation calls on Dr. Tedros to reaffirm WHO’s position that countries have the right to suspend IP protections during pandemics and other global health emergencies.

“Dr. Tedros’ remarks are not only dangerous and tone deaf – they are an inexplicable reversal from the support he’s shown for IP waivers in the past. Most of the world suffered during the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and other commodities because rich countries and vaccine manufacturers were unwilling to share vaccines and technologies to ensure equity around the world,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “We urge Dr. Tedros to do the right thing and reconfirm his stance that countries must have the freedom to sidestep intellectual property barriers during global public health crises to save the lives of their people. Dr. Tedros and the WHO must be on the side of human life – not big pharma and the ultra-rich.”

In June 2022, the WTO approved an IP waiver for COVID-19 vaccine patents. Since then, advocates and many nations have urged the WTO to extend the waiver to include tests and treatments for the novel coronavirus. WTO Member States continue to be at a stalemate.

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