Policy recommendations

Many different actors have a role to play in promoting human rights and vaccine equity.

What can pharmaceutical companies developing Covid-19 medical products, governments, international organisations and institutions and institutional investors do to promote the accessibility, availability and affordability of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics? 

Our policy recommendations are aimed at each of these stakeholders in a bid to promote the realisation of the human right to health.


For companies developing/manufacturing Covid-19 medical products
  1. Follow PAF’s ‘Guidelines on responsible pharmaceutical behaviour in Covid-19’. Using these concrete and verifiable criteria, companies can publicise their commitments to international human rights standards and improve their public image. 
  2. Reflect on the GCCP score given and use PAF’s recommendations on how to improve it.

For governments
  • Use public funding to negotiate ‘fairer’ contracts. Governments have the power to negotiate conditions in their deals with vaccine and therapeutics providers. Governments can apply funding conditionalities to publicly funded developers of Covid-19 products. These terms could make government funding conditional on:
    • The companies setting a fair price for the product.
    • The companies committing to a responsible licensing mechanism such as WHO C-TAP or the MPP
    • Data transparency in the event of public funding of Covid-19 vaccine/therapeutics clinical trials, licensing deals, costs and research.
  • Provide funding for international licensing mechanisms such as CTAP and MPP
  • Support the waiving of IP rights. More than 100 governments support the TRIPS waiver proposal, but a number of high-income countries are blocking it (The EU led by Germany, the UK, and Switzerland). The waiver would speed up worldwide access to Covid-19 medical products by removing legal barriers to their production.
  • Stimulate companies to adhere to GCCP. Observance of our ‘guidelines for responsible pharmaceutical behaviour in Covid-19’ and scoring system could be included as a requirement in procurement contracts.

  • WHO in collaboration with the MPP should provide model licensing agreements for companies and governments to easily conform to international human rights standards in these deals 
  • WHO should provide regular updates on progress made with C-TAP. C-TAP can provide incentives for companies to support it, such as investing in new drugs. 
  • GAVI/CEPI should require companies contracted by the ACT Accelerator (vaccines and therapeutics) to adhere to GCCP.

For institutional investors
  • Implement and follow the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), involving a 3-part responsibility to respect human rights:
    • Adopt policy commitments to respect internationally recognised human rights
    • Conduct due diligence processes to identify potential human rights implications of vaccine developers’ activities 
    • Enable or provide access to a remedy: both procedural and substantive, through national judicial or grievance mechanisms, or through non-judicial means that are legitimate, equitable, & transparent in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights.
  • Tie pharma CEO pay to equitable vaccine distribution: as a group of 65 asset managers have called for in January.