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WHO and 37 countries launch alliance to share medicines to fight coronavirus

Komal FatimaWeb Editor

30th May, 2020. 12:42 pm
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The World Health Organization and 37 countries have appealed for common ownership of medicines, vaccines and diagnostic essentials to cope up with the global coronavirus pandemic.

According to the international news agency, WHO and 37 countries aim patent laws they fear could become a hurdle sharing supplies.

While pressure by mostly developing countries, called Covid-19 technology Access Pool, got appreciation from Doctors Without Borders and other groups, a drug industry alliance raised an issue if the effort to pool intellectual property would allow more access to medicines.

Small and developing countries fear that resources have been utilized by the rich countries to find vaccines, will influence them to stand to the front of the queue once anyone succeeds.

Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado said, “Vaccines, tests, diag­nostics, treatments, and other key tools in the coronavirus response must be made universally available as global public goods,”

The WHO issued “Solidarity Call to Action” as it asked the stakeholders to join the voluntary push.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told an online news briefing, “WHO recognizes the important role that patents play in fuelling innovation but this is a time when people must take priority,”

The International Fed­eration of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associ­ations talked about effects on intellectual property. The federation said, “The ‘Solidarity Call to Action’ promotes a one-size-fits-all model that disregards the specific circumstances of each situation, each product, and each country,”

Anna Marriott, health policy manager for anti-poverty group Oxfam, said, “The pharmaceutical industry’s attempt to rubbish the World Health Organisation’s initiative suggests they care more for profits than people’s health”.

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