MSF Access Campaign position paper on the sharing of technologies for COVID-19 to ensure equitable access for all
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to reaffirm the core responsibility of governments and the World Health Organization to adopt mandatory measures to ensure an uninterrupted access to and a worldwide right to use and produce effective therapeutics, diagnostics, vaccines and other medical tools needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes, but is not limited to, adopting binding agreements at the international level, the use of compulsory licensing, the suspension and cancellation of exclusivity protections, and open licensing agreements with worldwide coverage. These measures would accelerate the development of a diverse and sufficient manufacturing and supply capacity, and would enable the equitable distribution of COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for all in need.
The paper summarises the key lessons learned from MSF’s experience with voluntary licenses of pharmaceutical patents and proposes key considerations to be adopted in the context of sharing the medical technologies needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.