▷ Doctors of the world on the postponed WTO ministerial conference on Covid-19 patents: “Omikron …

30.11.2021 – 05:35

Doctors of the World eV

Munich / Geneva (ots)

Immediately take all necessary measures to suspend patent protection for technologies to combat Covid-19 until the end of the pandemic: Doctors of the world, together with other civil society actors, call on the new German government and the EU to do this at the World Trade Organization ministerial conference.

The conference, which was supposed to start on November 30th, 2021, was postponed at short notice due to travel and quarantine restrictions due to the new Omikron variant of the corona virus.

“Omikron was a development with an announcement,” said Doctors of the World, François De Keersmaeker. “New variants will spread out again and again if large parts of the population in poorer countries still have no access to vaccines. The fact that the WTO conference has now been canceled underlines once again the need to suspend patent protection in order to gain access to products to improve against Covid-19 worldwide. ”

At the WTO ministerial conference in Geneva, the so-called trips waiver – an initiative supported by over 100 countries in South Africa and India – was on the agenda. The aim of this is to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights to vital means for combating, diagnosing and preventing Covid-19. This would break an important barrier to the global production of vaccines and other resources against the virus. The outgoing federal government and the European Commission have so far actively blocked the waiver. In doing so, they are ignoring the urgent demands of the World Health Organization, several Nobel Prize winners and former heads of state, civil society organizations and even the European Parliament.

“Doctors of the world see the consequences of Germany’s and the European Commission’s blocking stance on a daily basis in their humanitarian work in numerous countries around the world. Decision-makers must now finally stop defending the monopolies of the pharmaceutical giants and concentrate on saving lives”, said Doctors of the World Director François De Keersmaeker.

The pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer earn $ 1,000 per second from their Covid-19 vaccines, as the Peoples Vaccine Alliance recently announced. But their vaccines are so far only available to a small part of the world’s population. Over five million people have died of Covid-19 worldwide so far.

In addition to an immediate end to the blocking attitude towards the trips waiver, Doctors of the World calls on German and European decision-makers to support the transfer of knowledge and technology, to provide the Covax mechanism for distributing vaccines with timely and sufficient donations and enough doses to share with countries where they are most needed.

Doctors of the World joins the protests of the NGO No Profit on Covid, which will take place in Geneva on November 30th despite the canceled conference. Doctors of the world also supports the petition of the European citizens’ initiative No Profit on Pandemic.

Press contact:

Stephanie Kirchner
Press officer
Doctors of the World eV
m. +49 (0) 159 0406 2104
@ [email protected]

Original content from: Ärzte der Welt eV, transmitted by news aktuell


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