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Coronavirus: Medical Treatments

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 115822, tabled on 16 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government supports the World Trade Organisation proposed waiver for covid-19 intellectual property.

Answered on

25 November 2020

The Government has long-supported affordable and equitable access to medicines, including in developing countries. A robust and fair intellectual property system is essential to drive innovation, allow economic growth and enable society to benefit from knowledge sharing. There are flexibilities within the Agreement for the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and World Trade Organisation (WTO) Members can use these to ensure access to medicines. The Department for International Trade welcomes initiatives such as Diatropix launched this week in Dakar – where British and Senegalese partners will share technology to produce COVID-19 antibody tests, making 10 million available across west Africa by the end of March 2021. This initiative, supported by development funding from the UK and elsewhere, will make a practical difference in the fight against COVID-19.