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ACT-A: put words into action to combat Covid-19

ACT-A, the global collaboration to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, can and must do more to effectively combat this international health crisis. It must use its leverage to significantly improve equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, and establish adequate funding of health systems in order to implement these commodities. Wemos fully supports the urgent recommendations on these matters of the Platform for Civil Society and Community Representatives to ACT-A.

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Dutch government can make important contribution to global fight against corona crisis

This autumn, the Dutch government can make an important contribution to combating the global corona crisis. Three international summits are on the agenda at which the Netherlands can express its support for the temporary lifting of intellectual property rights for medical products against Covid-19, including vaccines. In a joint letter, civil society organisations Health Action International (HAI), Wemos, Oxfam Novib and Cordaid call on the cabinet to show political decisiveness.

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Health security and equity should be a public priority

The World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries – the International Development Association’s (IDA) – should help close the global Covid-19 vaccination gap as soon as possible, while also supporting systemic changes to further universal access in the long run, and prioritise investment in public (not private) healthcare delivery. These are some of our recommendations in our new position paper for IDA20, the upcoming 20th replenishment of the funds of IDA.

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Launch EU Health Workforce Projects Cluster: how can we manage medical deserts?

During the webinar ‘How to effectively manage medical deserts, task shifting and retention policies?’ on September 20th, the EU Health Policy Forum will officially launch its Health Workforce Projects Cluster. One of the five projects within this cluster is the Wemos-led project Action for Health and Equity: Addressing medical Deserts (AHEAD). At the webinar, Corinne Hinlopen (Wemos) will introduce AHEAD and explain how the project partners want to address health worker shortages in isolated or depopulated areas, known as ‘medical deserts’.

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Research shows Moderna’s triple jackpot: subsidies, high prices and tax avoidance

Research by SOMO in cooperation with Wemos reveals that Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna avoids taxes on the profits it generates with billions of public funding. First the pharmaceutical company receives government subsidies for the development of its vaccine, then it sells the vaccines to governments for high prices, and in the end it transfers the majority of the profits to tax havens. Wemos and SOMO urge governments to attach conditions to public investments in development of vaccines and medicines, to ensure the accessibility and affordability of these products.

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Call to European public health community: push for sharing rights, know-how and technology

Wemos and EUPHA, the umbrella organization for public health associations and institutes in Europe, call upon public health experts to advocate sharing of patent rights, know-how and technology to maximize the production capacity of Covid-19 vaccines. In a joint statement, the two organizations stress that more certified pharmaceutical companies should be enabled to use their factories to produce vaccines. This is crucial in supplying all parts of the world with enough vaccines to end the corona pandemic as quickly as possible.

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Wemos calls upon WHO/Europe to counter power imbalance for access to medicines

Power imbalance between pharmaceutical companies and governments underlies many problems that hamper access to medicines for all. Monopolies and the lack of transparency in the pharmaceutical industry should therefore be countered. This was Wemos’ call during a civil society consultation initiated by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) on the 26th of April.

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