{{ index[0].node.title }}

{{ index[0].node.field_intro_text }}

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)'s petition calling on the Canadian government to attach conditions to the funding it provides to medical research and development (R&D) — in order to ensure that any medicines, vaccines and health technologies created with public money will be made accessible and affordable for public health needs — has been signed by more than 90,000 Canadians.

The petition has now closed, and will be delivered to Canada's federal Health Minister, Patty Hajdu, before the end of October 2020. Thank you to everyone who joined us in standing up for public health over private profits. Stay tuned for more details as we bring our message directly to the Canadian government!

Learn more about why MSF is calling for changes in Canada around medical R&D and essential medicines

Why change is needed

Around the world, governments fund critically important medical research and development using public money — including more than $1 billion already committed by the Canadian government to developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Publicly funded research has led to dramatic healthcare innovations. In Canada alone, researchers have used government funds to support the discovery of an Ebola vaccine, insulin, the cardiac pacemaker and more.

Unfortunately, most countries — including Canada — rarely demand that the resulting health innovations be safeguarded for public health, or be made affordable and accessible to those who need them most.

In fact, these publicly funded vaccines, medicines and health technologies are often sold to private companies, who then determine who receives access to them — and at what price. This is unacceptable.

Public funds, private failure: Were profits put before lives with Canada's publicly funded Ebola vaccine?

Safeguards and transparency can make the difference

Simply put: Publicly funded medical innovations — including urgently needed medicines, vaccines, and other technologies — should be used to meet the needs of public health providers, not private pharmaceutical companies. Today, as governments spend billions to develop the tools needed to fight COVID-19, we must ensure that the resulting medicines and vaccines are affordable and accessible to everyone who needs them. 

We can make that happen.

By reqiring that medicines, vaccines, and other medical tools developed with public funds in Canada are affordable and accessible for patients and health systems around the world, we can protect our public investments in medical research and development.

Canadians are taking action

In our petition, MSF asked Canadians to join us in demanding that Canada’s Minister of Health make one simple policy change:

  • Canada’s medical research and development funding system should include safeguards requiring that any medicines, vaccines, and any other innovations discovered or developed with public funds be made affordable, accessible and available for everyone that needs them —- free of patents, monopolies and high prices. 

By signing our petition, Canadians are helping send a clear message to the government that urgently needed medicines, such as those being developed against COVID-19, will be available to those who need them most, including to Canadians who paid to develop them.

Our petition has now closed, with 91,206 signatures, which will now be delivered to Health Minister Patty Hajdu. Stay tuned for updates, here or by following MSF Canada on Twitter.

Medicines, vaccines and treatments, including those for COVID-19, must be accessible and affordable to everyone who needs them.

From the Toronto Star: MSF wants Trudeau to commit to fair access to COVID-19 vaccines

Watch the MSF panel discussion: Ensuring Global Access to Medicines & Vaccines amid COVID-19