Even a global pandemic, it seems, isn’t sufficient cause to prompt a temporary rethink of the WTO’s pro-business approach.’ Photograph: Robin Millard/AFP/Getty Images
Geneva, June 17 (RHC)-- The World Trade Organization has agreed to temporarily waive some intellectual property rights on COVID vaccines, but no agreement was reached on lifting patent monopolies on COVID treatments and tests.
Hundreds of international organizations, including Oxfam and Amnesty International, criticized the final deal, saying it will make it harder for developing countries to respond to the pandemic.
Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, told reporters: “What we’ve got from the World Trade Organization this morning is a poor excuse for a waiver. It is not what we’ve been calling for for the last 18 months. And the fault for that lies with European governments, particularly Britain, Switzerland and Germany. So we’re not happy about that."
"But there’s one thing we can bank from this: It really is proof that the Big Pharma monopoly system did not help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and did not help deal with it equitably, most importantly. It drove vaccine inequality.”