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e-4183

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • In March of 2021, Biolyse requested that COVID-19 vaccines be added to Schedule 1 of the Patent Act. Over six hundred days have passed, with the Government of Canada refusing to action this request;
  • Responding to a global pandemic in a way that minimizes both the loss of life and the potential emergence of new, more contagious and deadly variants requires that as many people around the world have access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics as quickly and safely as possible;
  • From the early days of the pandemic, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers have prioritized profits over saving lives by restricting supply in low and middle-income countries, leaving large numbers untreated;
  • Under Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR), Canadian manufacturers can apply for compulsory licences to produce and export lower-cost versions of life-saving products to low-and middle-income countries that lack the manufacturing capacity to respond to public health emergencies;
  • The first step in granting a compulsory licence is to have the requisite product added to Schedule 1 of the Patent Act; and
  • The October 2022 House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development report recommended that the Government of Canada immediately add COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and (therapeutic) treatments to Schedule 1.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and the Minister of Health to recommend to the Governor in Council, as per S.21.03(1)(a) of the Patent Act, to immediately add COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics to Schedule 1 of the Patent Act, thereby permitting export under CAMR for humanitarian reasons.

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