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Reacting to US pharma company Gilead's announcement of global pricing for its remdesivir drug, Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said:

"Remdesivir is a drug which has been produced with substantial amounts of public money in the US, and which researchers have estimated could be made for $9 per treatment course (1), but here is Big Pharma company Gilead generously only charging over $2,000! While that is reduced to $600 in lower-income countries, these are still vast price tags. 

Reaction to Liz Truss’s announcement today that Britain will seek to accede to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Aid

This is a terrible decision that takes us back two decades to when UK aid was subservient to the interests of British business. It's bad news for the fight against global poverty, and good news for suppliers of corporate drinks parties in foreign embassies. 

Campaigners are calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to put his money where his mouth is at today's UK-hosted Global Vaccine Summit [1] by making public funding for a coronavirus vaccine conditional on guarantees that people around the world will receive it. 

Patient groups have joined with campaigners to ask AstraZeneca for full disclosure of their plans to develop a coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University, outlining the need for vaccines to be patent-free. [1] 

The British pharmaceutical company has recently signed a deal with Oxford University to produce the vaccine and has already received orders from the UK and US governments. [2]

Reacting to the launch of the WHO's Technology Access Pool today, with the support of 30 countries, excluding the UK, Heidi Chow, pharmaceuticals campaigner at Global Justice Now said:

Global Justice Now called on the British Government to support Argentina in its stand-off with its private sector lenders, ahead of the country’s formal default deadline on Friday. If Argentina goes into default, it is likely to be the first of many countries, as enormous debt burdens prevent government dealing with the coronavirus crisis across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Ahead of the Second Reading of the Trade Bill in parliament today, Jean Blaylock, trade campaigner at Global Justice Now said:

“The Trade Bill being debated today entrenches the government’s power to do deals behind closed doors without needing to tell parliament or the people what it is doing. If this feeble excuse for a bill goes through, we could be signed up to a high-risk, damaging US trade deal without any democratic control.

Global Justice Now today criticised Health Secretary Matt Hancock for failing to join world leaders in declaring a potential coronavirus vaccine to be a ‘public good’, and instead acting as a cheerleader for the pharmaceutical industry at the World Health Assembly, which concludes today. 

Access to medicines organisations have today written to the government to demand its support for a global patent pool and affordable access for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. 

As the World Health Assembly takes place online, the UK government and others have reportedly been trying to weaken the sole resolution proposing a voluntary technology pool for the vaccine. The resolution aims to prevent rich countries monopolising treatments and vaccines and calls for access to be shared equally and fairly.

In response to BBC Newsnight report, UK campaigners and patients call for concrete commitments on access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

Last night’s BBC Newsnight (14 May) reported on the barriers that could prevent fair access to potential COVID-19 vaccines, including the UK’s role in slowing down progress to overcome pharmaceutical monopolies in negotiations ahead of a crucial World Health Organisation meeting on Monday. 

More than twenty organisations have signed an open letter to Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling on the Scottish government to use its powers to override any patents that are put on new medicines and vaccines for Covid-19 in order to block pharmaceutical companies from profiteering from the pandemic.

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