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Covid-19 drugs should be distributed based on needs, not 'Highest Bidder' - Gates

By Charles Joseph

July 11, 2020 - World leaders have been admonished to ensure that all Covid-19 medications and eventual vaccine should be distributed according to needs and not be allowed to be muscled by the highest bidder.

Billionaire Philanthropist Bill Gates gave this caution on Saturday during a video conferencing on Covid-19 organised by the International Aids Society.

Gates, co-founder of Microsoft stressed that relying on market forces for the distribution of the drugs or vaccine would prolong the pandemic.

“If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidder, instead of to the people and the places where they are most needed, we will have a longer, more unjust, deadlier pandemic.

“We need leaders to make these hard decisions about distributing based on equity, not just on market-driven factors,” he said.

There is a growing concern that thw World powers and other nations in Europe and America who are investing billions of dollars in research for a cure and possible vaccine may mop up all promising medications leaving the developing countries to grapple with the pandemic.

He encouraged the world to employ the model used to battle the global HIV/AIDS crisis decades ago, when countries came together to eventually make medicines available in most of the world including Africa.

He exemplified with the the 2002-created Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the U.S.-based President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief to get medicines to people to combat some of the world’s deadliest diseases.

“One of the best lessons in the fight against HIV/AIDS is the importance of building this large, fair global distribution system to get the drugs out to everyone,” Gates said.

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