To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent progress his Department has made on its consultations with representatives of (a) the pharmaceutical industry and (b) relevant institutions to catalyse (i) engagement with and (ii) participation in the World Health Organization’s COVID Technology Access Pool.
The UK has engaged extensively with all interested parties on the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) since the World Health Organisation (WHO) published its concept paper in October 2020. We continue to have ongoing, constructive discussions with the WHO as well as industry and relevant institutions on the initiative. Joining C-TAP is a decision for industry to take and we will continue to act as an interface between the WHO and relevant stakeholders, and share lessons learnt from UK licensing models for voluntary sharing of intellectual property.
The UK has supported efforts to boost vaccine manufacturing through voluntary licensing and technology transfer partnerships, working with partners including through the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator Vaccine Manufacturing Working Group and the COVAX Supply Chain and Manufacturing Task Force. Our contribution to the development of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is well known and is already ensuring more than half a billion doses of vaccine are available across the world at cost. We encourage others to follow this lead and are working to facilitate more partnerships like this.