No Patents, No Monopolies in a Pandemic

Monopolies are often an obstacle between people and the lifesaving health tools they need. Patents and other exclusivities limit supply and keep prices high.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global emergency.

Over 100 countries have taken an incredibly strong stance at the World Trade Organization (WTO), proposing to temporarily waive patents, trade secrets and other intellectual property (IP) on all COVID-19 medical tools.

This action could dramatically boost global production and supply of lifesaving vaccines, treatments, tests and other health tools - for everyone, everywhere.

A draft text under discussion by several governments was leaked in March, and is categorically different from the waiver proposal. The text has now been officially tabled by the WTO for formal negotiations. MSF urges governments to reject this draft COVID-19 text as it stands, as it would set a negative precedent, and to pursue substantive revisions towards a more ambitious outcome as outlined by the original waiver proposal. Read more

Since October 2020, a global movement to make COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, tests & other medical tools more accessible worldwide has grown.

This request for an IP waiver could be a gamechanger because it would put people's lives over profit and provide governments with the necessary legal basis to ensure access to COVID-19 medical tools for their people throughout this pandemic.

[Last updated: 18 January 2022 - Sources: Knowledge Ecology International, TWN & WTO]  Note: The discussions at the WTO are taking place behind closed doors. As such, we strive to update the map as soon as we have confirmation of each country’s evolving positions.

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The People Facing the Pandemic

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#NoCovidMonopolies - A Timeline. The story of our campaign so far.