The recent launch of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) will be remembered as a milestone in global health.

Originally proposed by the Government of Costa Rica, C-TAP aims to bring together know-how, data and licencing of medical technologies needed to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. Included in this are therapeutics, vaccines, intellectual property and clinical trial data, as well as gene sequencing data and other important information.

The pool was launched on 29 May 2020 by WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, with the support of 37 countries, including the Netherlands, Malaysia and South Africa. A Solidarity Call for Action, launched alongside C-TAP, calls on others to join and express their commitment to the pool, as HAI has already done.

COVID-19 Technology Pool
HAI’s statement of support for the Solidarity Call for Action.

The pool must be a repository of information and knowledge for all technologies developed with public support and funding, whatever form that may take. By supporting C-TAP, governments of all countries, regardless of resource level and geographic location, choose to be on the right side of history by ensuring equitable access to the tools needed to end this and future crises.

HAI’s statement of support (in four languages) for COVID-19 Technology Pool prior to its launch.

To discuss this pool further, we co-hosted a World Health Assembly (WHA) side event along with Knowledge Ecology International, Medicines Law & Policy, Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation, and Wemos before it was launched. This event saw speakers from 10 different organisations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health in Costa Rica.

Watch a recording of the full event here:

The launch of the WHO COVID-19 pool in May was a historic moment. Now, the pool needs the support of all stakeholders to ensure medical technologies for COVID-19 are global public goods accessible to all.