No profit on pandemic: European Parliament adopts proposal to waiver intellectual property right on COVID-19 vaccines

27 May 2021

No profit on pandemic: European Parliament adopts proposal to waiver intellectual property right on COVID-19 vaccines

Last week the European Parliament approved a resolution to tackle the AIDS epidemic which includes a Left demand for waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines. This makes production and distribution of these badly needed medicines cheaper and easier. 

The proposal championed by Belgian European Parliament Member Marc Botenga also demands the waiving of intellectual property rights for equipment and other treatments, urging pharmaceutical companies to share their knowledge and data through the World Health Organization COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP).

This result comes after a year long campaign by European Citizens, SP and multiple Left parties across Europe, urging world leaders to put the public health before profits of by pharmaceutical companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. This No Profit on Pandemic campaign got surprising support by US President Biden, announcing America’s support for patents’ suspension. Thanks to The Left, The EU now also has to plea for this measure, despite obstruction from right-wing parties.

Martin Schirdewan, co-president of The Left demands that the EU fast-track the patents’ waiver in international forums: 'The big groups bent over backwards to block the European Parliament Parliament from taking a position in support of waiving patents ahead of the G20 Health Ministers’ meeting and the WTO TRIPS Council meeting next month. They have lost. The Parliament has expressed clearly that they expect the EU to join the rest of the world in supporting the waiver of intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.'

'From the start of the pandemic, the Left has been a leading voice demanding that Covid-19 vaccines and treatments are made a public good. The approval of this resolution, which expresses the will of the Parliament, is the culmination of impressive grassroots mobilisations all across Europe  – in solidarity with the Global South – where the Left played a major role. It sends a clear message to the EU that people’s lives must come before the profits of multinationals. Each day access to vaccines is delayed, 9,946 lives are lost. Inaction kills. President Von der Leye, we are watching.'

The European Citizens’ Initiative No Profit on Pandemic can be supported here.

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