It’s Our Future NZ has called on the NZ Government to support the proposalbrought by India and South Africa calling for a waiver to WTO intellectual property rules in relation to the “prevention, containment or treatment” of COVID-19, to remove barriers to expand access to COVID-related vaccines and treatments.
The proposal would make it easier for other countries, particularly in the Global South, to produce their own COVID vaccines rather than waiting for the sole intellectual property holders to produce sufficient quantities of vaccine and to accept their profit-oriented pricing structure, regardless of the health impacts.
“Current WTO intellectual property rules are an obstacle for the world’s poor accessing Covid vaccines and treatments as they become available. Unless New Zealand amends its position we are siding with the intellectual property bullies on this matter”, said It’s Our Future spokesperson Edward Miller.
“The big pharmaceutical companies that control these patents have demonstrated time and time again they are simply too profit-driven to ensure access to life-saving medicines”, continued Miller.
“Antiretroviral treatments to treat the ongoing HIV-AIDS pandemic have been available for decades and their research and development costs have been paid for many times over, however 700,000 died from AIDS last year alone while Big Pharma reaped billions in profits.”
“NZ needs to act on the kindness rhetoric it has been preaching in international arenas and support the proposal to ensure countries in the Global South currently ravaged by the impacts of COVID can end their ongoing health and economic crisis and start thinking about recovery.”