Access Denied: report series launch, March 2023
Three years on, the COVID-19 pandemic has officially caused the deaths of over 7 million people, disrupting livelihoods globally and continuing to have a devastating impact on communities that don’t have widespread access to health technologies. The world’s response to the pandemic has demonstrated the flaws in the existing global system for the research, development and dissemination of health technologies. More than 1.3 million lives could have been saved if vaccines had been equitably distributed in 2021.
This ‘Access Denied’ series explores a systemic lack of transparency within government decision making between pharmaceutical companies and their relations with governments. Through legal and investigative research, the series uncovers how this opacity prevented public accountability and good governance which, we argue, contributed to the gross inequity we have seen in access to COVID-19 health technologies.
Each report in the series sets out recommended legal and policy option to improve transparency and public oversight regarding public health matters, to ensure that access to health tools, during pandemics and beyond, is never denied again.
Of this series, two reports were launched by STOPAIDS and Just Treatment on the 23rd March 2022, which explore the impact of Big Pharma influence on UK Government decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role of trade secrets in preventing global equitable access to COVID-19 tools. They uncover how a systemic lack of transparency and extensive use of trade secrets by Big Pharma companies gave them undue influence over Government decision-making and prevented public accountability; likely contributing to the gross inequity we have seen in access to COVID-19 health technologies worldwide.
To read or download the reports click on the links below.
We would like to thank The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust for making this research possible.