Amnesty International has urged the Australian Government once again to support the revised proposal for a temporary Waiver from Certain Provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of Covid-19 with other World Trade Organisation (WTO) member states.
Under current WTO rules, pharmaceutical companies have a 20-year monopoly on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and each government must negotiate with them on prices and quantities. Rich countries are first in line. Low-income countries must wait years while the pandemic rages, more infectious strains develop and millions die.
With negotiations now under way before a WTO General Council meeting on July 27 to temporarily change rules and put public health before pharmaceutical profits, Amnesty International Australia National Director, Sam Klintworth, has written to Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan. In the letter, Klintworth has called on Tehan to engage in good faith in the text-based negotiations in support of the revised proposal, with a view to adopting the proposal at the next meeting of the WTO General Council on 27-28 July 2021.