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Left group calls for IP waivers for Covid-19 cures

Petition seeks to hold Commission to account over equitable vaccine access

The European United Left, the European Parliament’s small left-wing group, has launched a petition calling for the EU to waive intellectual property protections for future Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics in order to ensure universal access.

The group said the European Commission’s vaccine strategy contained “no strong commitment on this”. That strategy, published on 17 June, backs the UN’s IP pooling proposal but says the decision to make products common goods should be voluntary.

The group’s Right2Cure campaign says patents are the “main barrier” to universal access and warns that “they grant big pharma market exclusivity over lifesaving drugs and the ability to determine prices and make huge profits from the pandemic”.