Statement | 17 April 2020 | Download PDF
It is commendable that the European Parliament has held a plenary session dedicated to the fight against COVID-19 and the efforts made by most political groupings to achieve consensus around a resolution should be applauded. However, it is disappointing to see that critical amendments that would promote affordable access to medicines, such as guaranteeing a public return on public investment and support for compulsory licenses in connection with COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines have been omitted. The only consolation is that these, among other measures previously endorsed by Member States, were only narrowly voted down, so there is still hope that Member States themselves will implement them.
Now is not the time for a ‘business as usual’ approach and we expect the European Parliament to fulfil its institutional promise to translate public hopes and concerns into a solution, even if that requires bold and unprecedented action.
MEPs should hold the European Commission accountable on its commitments to support public research and guarantee access to end results, and support Commission endeavours to promote a new understanding of vaccines and pharmaceuticals as common goods.
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