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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.

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.

Take action today!

Today, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is asking 30,000 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, you’re helping us send a clear message to the Canadian 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.

COVID-19 vaccines and treatments 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