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India, South Africa Ask WTO for Patent Waiver to Allow Generic COVID-19 Drugs & Vaccines

HeadlineMar 05, 2021

In Geneva, Switzerland, members of Doctors Without Borders held a protest outside the headquarters of the World Trade Organization Thursday demanding a waiver on patent rights for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. South Africa and India are leading an effort that would temporarily allow for the production of generic versions of the life-saving products. Stephen Cornish, director-general of Doctors Without Borders-Switzerland, joined Thursday’s protest.

Stephen Cornish: “If we had the waiver, we’d be able, in a number of countries, to scale up production right now, which would allow for the diagnostics, the medicines and the vaccines to get where they’re needed most. Right now we’re seeing just a trickle of vaccines making it to the Global South. And this is just not acceptable in today’s world.”

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