AFTINET tells the press: WTO decision on COVID-19 medicines monopolies falls short

June 22, 2022: Following the weak WTO decision on COVID-19 vaccine patents only, AFTINET has warned that the agreement will fail to address global inequities in access to vaccines, tests, and treatments.

Speaking to SBS News, AFTINET Convenor Dr Patricia Ranald explained: "Our concern is that this will not enable the actual production of more vaccines and treatments, and we’ll still have a situation where the majority of low-income countries have very low rates of vaccination... which will prolong the pandemic."

“We were disappointed with the final agreement because it’s a considerable watering down of the original temporary waiver, proposed by India and South Africa.”

Dr Patricia Ranald also told the Sydney Morning Herald that the interests of the pharmaceutical companies were behind the disappointing outcome, saying that the EU, UK and Switzerland fought the waiver proposal at the request of Big Pharma: “[Pharma] already made an enormous amount of money… They’ve had the monopoly for two years. Research and development was subsidised by governments, so it’s not that pharmaceutical companies had to take a big risk.”

  • To read the full SBS News report, click here.
  • To read the full Sydney Morning Herald report, click here.