Petition to the Government of Canada
- Ending the global COVID-19 pandemic once and for all requires ensuring the vaccination of as many people around the world as quickly and safely as possible;
- Pharmaceutical companies have consistently put profits before saving lives, restricting supply to low-income countries and leaving 96% of people there unvaccinated;
- The Government of Bolivia has an agreement with a Canadian injectable drug manufacturer, Biolyse Pharma, to produce and export 15 million doses using a patented vaccine formula, which could help greatly accelerate vaccination efforts;
- Under Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR), Canadian generic pharmaceutical manufacturers can obtain a compulsory licence to produce and export lower cost versions of patented medicines to developing countries, in the event of a public health emergency;
- The Government of Canada has so far refused to add COVID-19 vaccines to the Schedule 1 list of essential medicines of the Patent Act, which would allow Biolyse to produce vaccines under CAMR; and
- This refusal contradicts the Government of Canada’s stated commitment to treat the COVID-19 vaccine as a global public good.
We, the undersigned, people of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Increase the accessibility of COVID-19 vaccines by facilitating the manufacturing of generic vaccines here in Canada and around the world;
2. Add COVID-19 vaccines and health products to Schedule 1 of the Patent Act, thereby authorizing manufacturing of vaccines through CAMR; and
3. Support a temporary waiver of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on COVID-19 vaccines as well as diagnostics, therapeutics, and other medical products at the World Trade Organization (WTO).