COVID-19 Pandemic

Argentinian health groups oppose monopoly patents on remdesivir drug for coronavirus treatment

July 9, 2020: US pharmaceutical giant Gilead has filed five patent applications for a 20-year monopoly on the manufacture and commercialisation of the drug remdesivir in Argentina. Remdesivir is the first drug approved globally to treat people infected with COVID-19. If the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) rejects the patent, it would be a significant step toward Argentina being able to manufacture remdesivir locally at a reduced price.

630 civil society groups warn of corporate threats to sue governments over actions taken to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic

June 25, 2020, Media Release: “An open letter endorsed by 630 international and national civil society organisations has been sent to Trade Minister Birmingham, warning him that Australia could face a wave of cases from global corporations claiming millions in compensation for actions taken to respond to the pandemic. Corporations can do this using rules in trade deals known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Trade impacts in the Global Coronavirus Crisis

June 15, 2020: A Special Issue of the Journal of Australian Political Economy focuses on the political economic fallout from the Coronavirus crisis. It contains 26 articles, written by Australian and international authors, each showing how political economic analysis can deepen our understanding of what has been happening. Many also reflect on what can now be done to pursue a more progressive agenda – for more secure jobs, less inequality and a more sustainable environment.

Australian Unions and Community Organisations urge Global Social Protection Fund during COVID-19 pandemic

June 8, 2020: Eight Australian trade union and civil society organisations including AFTINET called on the Australian government on June 4, 2020, to support the world’s poorest countries to deal with the health, economic, and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

37 countries back WHO’s new COVID-19 Technology Access Pool - medicines as global public goods

June 5, 2020: Thirty-seven countries supported the formal launch on May 29, 2020, of the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), an initiative to increase access to knowledge needed to produce vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19. The Pool was first proposed in March by President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica.

US disassociates itself from cooperative access to medicines in unanimous World Health resolution

May 20, 2020: The World Health Assembly unanimously adopted the draft resolution on COVID-19 which endorsed the central role of the World Health Organisation in the global response to the pandemic, called for the greatest cooperation between member states in providing resources and sharing knowledge about treatments and vaccines for the new coronavirus, and established two investigations – one into the origins of the coronavirus and how it was transmitted to humans, and one into the response to the pandemi

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