[Ip-health] The Netherlands supports a global ‘Covid-19 pool’

Ella Weggen ella.weggen at wemos.nl
Wed Apr 8 02:52:53 PDT 2020

The Netherlands supports a global ‘Covid-19 pool’
To share knowledge, data and intellectual property for worldwide availability

Amsterdam, April 8, 2020

The Netherlands gives its support to a global pool for rights on data, knowledge and intellectual property on Covid-19 that can be freely shared.

The letter towards the Dutch Parliament by our minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge states https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/ministeries/ministerie-van-volksgezondheid-welzijn-en-sport/documenten/kamerstukken/2020/04/07/kamerbrief-over-stand-van-zaken-covid-19:
“In addition to the financial contribution to the research, the Netherlands will offer to help the WHO to further develop a COVID-19 patent pool. This is in line with Costa Rica's call for action by the WHO to establish an international pool of intellectual property on COVID-19. The proposal boils down to creating a patent pool in which the rights to relevant technology are placed that help to detect, prevent, control or treat COVID-19. It concerns a voluntary payment or contribution of existing and new patented techniques and designs that may be important. This must be made available to everyone for free or for a reasonable license fee. In principle, I am sympathetic to this initiative, but the development of this initiative in relation to the availability and affordability of vaccines must take place in the coming period.”

Last week Wemos sent a letter<https://www.wemos.nl/brief-aan-kabinet-steun-een-covid-19-pool/> to the Dutch cabinet, on behalf of 38 civil society organisations, political youth organisations and 20 public health experts to request the Dutch government for support.

Call to The Netherlands: support Costa Rica’s proposal
Costa Rica sent a letter to Dr. Tedros, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). It has requested WHO to create a global pool for data, knowledge and technologies that can be of use in the prevention, detection and treatment of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Netherlands supports this call to actively support the Costa Rica proposal.

A Covid-19 pool would enable accelerated production of the required Covid-19 technologies. In addition, it would meet the global need for affordable products – a relevant issue, now that Covid-19 is affecting more and more countries with limited financial resources and often weak health systems.

Ella Weggen (Wemos): “Several governments have already indicated that holding on to rights, data and knowledge for the production of resources in the fight against Covid-19, will not lead to the desired result. The Netherlands<https://fd.nl/economie-politiek/1339389/kamer-eist-snel-actie-voor-meer-coronatests>, Chile<https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2020/03/18/chile-compulsory-licensing-coronavirus-covid19-vaccines/>, Israel<https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2020/03/20/abbvie-israel-hiv-kaletra-coronavirus-covid19/>, Canada <https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2020/03/25/canada-compulsory-license-coronavirus-covid19/>  and Germany<http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2020/03/24/german-government-plans-possibilities-to-limit-patents-in-view-of-corona-pandemic/> have already indicated that they will use compulsory licenses to lift the exclusivity of patents, if necessary. A Covid-19 pool would increase the chances for everyone in the world to access appropriate treatments.”

Costa Rica, the Netherlands and the WHO are positive, will the rest follow?
Dr. Tedros of the WHO is positive about Costa Rica’s proposal[1]. Now the Netherlands supports the pool. In recent years the Netherlands has been a global frontrunner on fair access to affordable medicines. The government uses this strong position in international discussions to support the pooling mechanism and promote it towards the rest of Europe. This way, the Covid-19 pool can become a reality.

Tom Buis (Wemos): “The Netherlands shows solidarity with all affected countries and commit to realising a Covid-19 pool. This is a good first step to maximise resource production and minimise financial pressures on healthcare systems worldwide.”

more information:

  *   https://www.wemos.nl/en/letter-to-dutch-cabinet-support-covid-19-pool/
  *   https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/ministeries/ministerie-van-volksgezondheid-welzijn-en-sport/documenten/kamerstukken/2020/04/07/kamerbrief-over-stand-van-zaken-covid-19


  *   Tom Buis (Tom.Buis at Wemos.nl<mailto:Tom.Buis at Wemos.nl>), 00316 42 34 77 83
  *   Ella Weggen (Ella.Weggen at Wemos.nl<mailto:Ella.Weggen at Wemos.nl>), 00316 41 29 30 88

[1] https://twitter.com/DrTedros/status/1243090557804691468

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