Director, Next System Project
We can't let the WTO get in the way of a 'people's vaccine'
Dana Brown, co-director of Theory, Research, and Policy and director of The Next System Project at The Democracy Collaborative writes:
Earlier this month, India and South Africa, two of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, formally petitioned the WTO to suspend [Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights] for all members, on the grounds that it created “barriers to the timely access to affordable medical products” around the world. “There are significant concerns,” the governments of both countries wrote, about “how these will be made available promptly, in sufficient quantities and at [an] affordable price to meet global demand”.
India and South Africa join a chorus of countries in demanding a break from the punishing toll of the western multinational-led intellectual property rights regime.