Coronavirus: Medical Treatments

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 23rd November 2020.

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Photo of Dan Carden Dan Carden Labour, Liverpool, Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has plans to attach public interest conditions to his Department's funding for research and development on covid-19 vaccines and treatments to ensure the (a) affordability, (b) accessibility and (c) social responsibility of the licensing of those vaccines.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

To ensure affordability and accessibility, the FCDO supports the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator in collaborating globally to develop affordable new vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics, which are accessible to everyone who needs them, as quickly as possible. The UK has contributed £313 million to ACT-Accelerator partners to develop new vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. These international not-for-profit organisations are committed to ensuring that once developed, products are affordable and accessible in low and middle-income countries. This includes selecting products that can be developed and scaled-up quickly to support global access.

In addition, the UK has committed up to £548 million for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which will support access to COVID-19 vaccines for 92 developing countries by contributing to the supply of 1 billion doses in 2021, subject to vaccines successfully securing stringent regulatory approvals. Gavi will negotiate prices and supply volumes with companies based on its established expertise in supporting global immunisation, and take into account investments made in research and development by ACT-Accelerator partners. We welcome the commitments made by several manufacturers to not-for-profit pricing during the pandemic period. At the United National General Assembly, the pharmaceutical industry came together to pledge their collective support for ensuring the affordable, global distribution of vaccines.

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