News

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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Missed opportunities in Rome Declaration on global health

During the Global Health Summit, hosted by Italy on May 21st, the G20 and the European Commission (EC) co-signed the Rome Declaration. We applaud their recommitment to strengthening health systems for global health security and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). However, in our opinion, the Declaration is not bold nor concrete enough on effective global health cooperation, strengthening health systems and intellectual property rights. It also fails to critically assess the importance of public financing and governance in health systems, and lacks urgency on solving the global health workforce crisis. We raised these points during the EC/G20’s consultations with civil society organisations a month before the Summit. Looking at the final Declaration, we identify some missed opportunities.

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Covid-19 vaccine

Waiver patent protections is an important step in the right direction

Wemos warmly welcomes the US government’s proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for a temporary waiver of patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines. It is now up to the Netherlands and the European Union (EU) to follow suit. This patent waiver – which would temporarily lift patent protections – will give all pharmaceutical companies the right to also produce vaccines. This could be a breakthrough for global access to these vaccines.

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Webinar & report April 19: how do the Global Fund, GFF and Gavi coordinate their efforts to strengthen health systems?

During a joint interactive webinar on April 19th, Wemos and Cordaid – as part of the Dutch Global Health Alliance – will share our joint report’s main findings and recommendations on health systems strengthening coordination among the ‘3Gs’. The 3Gs are the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (Gavi) and the Global Financing Facility (GFF). They are the three largest global health initiatives that raise and allocate funds to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries.

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New Wemos-led project AHEAD: Action for Health and Equity Addressing medical Deserts

Today – on World Health Day and during World Health Worker Week – the Wemos-led European project AHEAD, or ‘Action for Health and Equity Addressing medical Deserts’, officially kicks off. Within this 26 months-long project, Wemos and five civil society partners from Romania, Italy, Serbia, Moldova and the Netherlands will address health worker shortages in isolated or depopulated areas, known as ‘medical deserts’. The project is primarily funded by the European Commission, with co-funding from Open Society Foundations.

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