WHO / COVID-19 TECHNOLOGY POOL

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29-May-2020 00:03:33
Thirty countries and multiple international partners and institutions have signed up to support the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) an initiative aimed at making vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all. WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 TECHNOLOGY POOL
TRT: 03:33
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 29 MAY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE – GENEVA, SWIRZERLAND

1. Tracking shot, WHO headquarters exterior

29 MAY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“A month ago, WHO and partners launched the ACT or the ACT Accelerator, to speed up the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics for COVID-19. Today we are joining 37 countries and numerous partners to launch the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool, or C-TAP. Through C-TAP, we are inviting companies or governments that develop an effective therapeutic to contribute the patent to the Medicines Patent Pool, which would then sub-license the patent to generic manufacturers. C-TAP is voluntary and builds on the success of the Medicines Patent Pool in expanding access to treatments for HIV and hepatitis C. WHO recognizes the important role that patents play in fuelling innovation. But this is a time when people must take priority. Tools to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19 are global public goods that must be accessible by all people.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWIRZERLAND

3. Tracking shot, WHO headquarters exterior

29 MAY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Carlos Alvarado, President, Costa Rica:
“The promise of safe, effective and affordable scientific discoveries, as well as treatments, medicines and vaccines, must guide our actions and allow to overcome a crisis that has caused so much pain in so many communities around the world. On the other hand, it would be useless to reach these incredible technological developments is we can not guarantee affordable access to technologies.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWIRZERLAND

1. Tilt up, WHO headquarters exterior

29 MAY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
“The benefits of scientific progress, especially as they apply to life saving innovations, were always meant to be shared. At no time has it been more urgent to work towards this goal. If not rapidly brought under control, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to devastate livelihoods, businesses and economies affecting all of us in some way. So, let us join forces to exchange data and information, accelerate technology transfer and expand the availability of medicines and health technologies.”





FILE – GENEVA, SWIRZERLAND

1. Pan right, WHO headquarters exterior

29 MAY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Joseph Stiglitz, Economist:
“I don't think we can ever, in our very unequal society, expect anything to be fully equal. But what we know is that if we leave it to the usual mechanisms - a monopoly of pharmaceutical companies who are driving up the prices, it will mean that those who are poor, whether they're in the rich countries, the middle-income countries, or the whole, of the poor countries, they won't have access unless we have this kind of patent pool. So, to me, it's an absolutely essential step in moving towards greater equality of access.”

STORYLINE:

Thirty countries and multiple international partners and institutions have signed up to support the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) an initiative aimed at making vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.

The Pool was first proposed in March by President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica, who joined WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today at the official launch of the initiative.

Launching the C-TAP via teleconference, Dr. Tedros said, “we are inviting companies or governments that develop an effective therapeutic to contribute the patent to the Medicines Patent Pool, which would then sub-license the patent to generic manufacturers.”

He said “this is a time when people must take priority. Tools to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19 are global public goods that must be accessible by all people.”

The C-TAP Access Pool will be voluntary and based on social solidarity. It will provide a one-stop shop for scientific knowledge, data and intellectual property to be shared equitably by the global community.

Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado said, “it would be useless to reach these incredible technological developments is we cannot guarantee affordable access to technologies.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said, “if not rapidly brought under control, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to devastate livelihoods, businesses and economies affecting all of us in some way. So, let us join forces to exchange data and information, accelerate technology transfer and expand the availability of medicines and health technologies.”

For his part, economist Joseph Stiglitz said, “if we leave it to the usual mechanisms - a monopoly of pharmaceutical companies who are driving up the prices, it will mean that those who are poor, whether they're in the rich countries, the middle-income countries, or the whole, of the poor countries, they won't have access unless we have this kind of patent pool.”

The aim of the C-TAP is to accelerate the discovery of vaccines, medicines and other technologies through open-science research, and to fast-track product development by mobilizing additional manufacturing capacity. This will help ensure faster and more equitable access to existing and new COVID-19 health products.
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