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US patent waiver support leaves Australia isolated

The Greens are calling on the Morrison Government to support the patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines.

The Greens say that the United States’ announced support for the waiver of intellectual property provisions on COVID-19 vaccines has put further pressure on Australia to back the proposal.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for International Aid and Development, said:

“Australia must immediately follow the United States and back the TRIPS waiver. We are one of the hold-outs and it’s morally indefensible.

“We could have played a leadership role here and taken our global responsibilities seriously. But it’s better late than never.

“By neglecting to support a waiver, Australia is taking the side of big pharmaceutical companies over the health and wellbeing of billions of people.

“I urge the Australian government to announce - today - that we are following the United States and backing the TRIPS waiver.”

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Health, said:

“The Greens welcome the Biden administration’s announcement of support for waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

“The Australian Government must be a responsible global citizen and do everything we can to ensure that lower GDP countries have access to vaccine production and that starts with supporting the proposal to the World Trade Organisation to waive intellectual property rights.

“We cannot afford to wait any longer, this is critical.”

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