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Episode 23 Part I: An EU love affair with big pharma

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station description EU Watchdog Radio is a bi-weekly podcast launched by two Brussels NGO's: Counter Ba... read more
EU Watchdog Radio
Duration: 48:59
In this special summer episode we’ll bring you the true story on how the European Union has been dealing with the covid-19 pandemic so far and why the EU seems to have a deep love affair with Big Pharma. In two parts of this podcast several experts will explain that the European Commission – the exe
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In this special summer episode we’ll bring you the true story on how the European Union has been dealing with the covid-19 pandemic so far and why the EU seems to have a deep love affair with Big Pharma. In two parts of this podcast several experts will explain that the European Commission – the executive branch of the EU - not only has a very eurocentric way of dealing with the pandemic, but also persists in complete secrecy on how it negotiates with powerful pharmaceutical companies. We are now July  2021, and the covid-19 pandemic is still raging in many parts of the world, in countries in Africa, in india, Indonesia and so on… And while many Europeans are happy to be able to go on holidays and again enjoy certain freedoms, thanks to the covid-19 vaccines, in low and middle income countries most people can only dream of having access to such a vaccine. “The vaccine must become a global common good”, said EC-president  Ursula von der Leyen in the spring of 2020. We now know those were empty words. The production of vaccines needs to be scaled up urgently, experts have been saying for many months; And many experts, scientists, hundreds of NGO’s, top politicians and the Pope, have argued that an important hurdle for that upscaling are patents and intellectual property rights and the refusal by Big Pharma to share technology. The truth is that the EU is de facto blocking the increase of production because it wants to protect the competitiveness of it’s pharmaceutical sector by protecting it’s patents. And allowing non- transparency on for example the price of medicines.    In the first part of this episode we talk first with CEO-researcher Olivier Hoedeman on the total secrecy that still surrounds the EU negotiations and dealings with Big Pharma.  Then we listen to CEO-researcher Kenneth Haar, who has published several reports on the bizarre ways the European Commission and the European member states have been dealing with the issue of vaccine equity.
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