Urgent need for medicines to treat COVID-19 – A comprehensive waiver is needed


We the undersigned organisations and patient advocacy groups strongly welcome YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s keynote address at the Nikkei 26th International Conference on The Future of Asia on 20 May 2021.

We applaud him for this transformative call:

“To prepare for a long century of recurring health emergencies – the temporary IP suspension must give way to a total transformation of the pharmaceutical patent system. Pausing the gears is not enough. Our obligation is to dismantle it entirely. And Asia must lead the way in opening up patent protections to produce cheaper generic versions of life-saving medicines for critical diseases, from COVID- 19 to HIV/Aids.”

As a first step, we call on YAB to formally inform the World Trade Organization that Malaysia will join 62 other countries as a co-sponsor to the temporary waiver of the TRIPS Agreement that will apply to patents, trade secrets and other relevant intellectual property covering vaccines, treatment medicines, diagnostics, and other medical products needed for COVID-19.

While global and national attention has been focused on vaccines, there is also urgent need for medicines to treat COVID-19 as cases continue to increase so a comprehensive waiver is needed.

Signed by:

  1. Agora Society Malaysia
  2. Citizens’ Health Initiative
  3. Consumer Association of Penang (CAP)
  4. Health Equity Initiatives
  5. Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC)
  6. Malaysian Women’s Action on Tobacco Control and Health (MyWATCH)
  7. Majlis Perundingan Pertumbuhan Islam Malaysia
  8. Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu (MTEM)
  9. Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia
  10. Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN)
  11. Parti Socialis Malaysia
  12. Persatuan Kebajikan Sokongan Keluarga Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur (Family Frontiers)
  13. Persatuan Pergerakan Pengguna Malaysia
  14. Pertubuhan Pembangunan dan Penyelidikan Antarabangsa untuk Kelestarian (IDRIS)
  15. Pertubuhan Ikatan Intelegensia Membangun Malaysia
  16. Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+)
  17. Prostate Cancer Society Malaysia
  18. PT Foundation
  19. Sahabat Alam Malaysia
  20. Teras Pengupayaan Melayu
  21. Third World Network
  22. Together Against Cancer Association Malaysia (TAC)

Letter to the Editor , 21 May 2021