MSF calls for no patents or profiteering on COVID-19 drugs, tests, and vaccines in pandemic
17 April 2020. Related: COVID-19: treatment access, COVID-19.
MSF press release
On 27 March 2020, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) issued a press release calling for no patents or profiteering on drugs, tests, or vaccines used for the COVID-19 pandemic, and for governments to prepare to suspend and override patents and take other measures, such as price controls, to ensure availability, reduce prices and save more lives.
Already, Canada, Chile, Ecuador and Germany have taken steps to make it easier to override patents by issuing ‘compulsory licenses’ for COVID-19 medicines, vaccines and other medical tools. Similarly, the government of Israel issued a compulsory license for patents on a medicine they were investigating for use for COVID-19.
The press releases states: “MSF is deeply concerned about access to any forthcoming drugs, tests, and vaccines for COVID-19 in places where MSF works and in other countries affected by this pandemic, and is urging governments to prepare to suspend or override patents for COVID-19 medical tools by issuing compulsory licenses. Removing patents and other barriers is critical to help ensure that there are sufficient suppliers selling at prices everyone can afford.”
Ref: MSF calls for no patents or profiteering on COVID-19 drugs, tests, and vaccines in pandemic (27 March 2020).