MSF calls on governments to reject draft COVID-19 proposal at WTO

5 April, 2022: After analysing a draft proposal at the WTO on waiving COVID19 medicines monopolies, Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF has called on all governments to reject the proposal, as it does would not achieve vaccine equity, and would set a negative precedent for future global health challenges.

In an explainer of the draft proposal, MSF details four key failings of the current proposal:

  1. It only includes vaccines and excludes treatments, diagnostics and other medical tools
  2. It could exclude several low- and middle-income countries
  3. It introduces new layers of complexity to already-complicated existing mechanisms
  4. It only covers patents, and fails to consider other forms of IP protections

According to Yuanqiong Hu, Senior Legal and Policy Advisor for MSF's Access Campaign, “This draft text being discussed at the WTO is simply not the effective intellectual property waiver that more than 100 governments were asking for, and governments should reject it,”

“If the draft text is agreed without thorough and substantive revisions, it would set a negative and detrimental precedent for future global health challenges. It’s beyond time for governments to move forward with negotiations on a TRIPS Waiver text that could be effective, like the one proposed almost seventeen months ago.”

  • To watch the video explainer, click here.
  • To read the MSF press release, click here.
  • To read the MSF explainer, click here.