Universities Allied for Essential Medicines

UAEM Statement for WHO

Today Ethan Guillen, Executive Director of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (, issued the following statement on the World Health Organization (WHO) Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) in Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property:

We were pleased to see the advancement in the negotiations of important issues like technology transfer that promotes innovation of and access to medicines for the developing world. We’re hopeful that consensus recommendations on open licensing and other technology transfer provisions agreed to during this round will send a strong message to universities: they need to adopt policies that will free up the tools of innovation and make medicines discovered on campuses available at low-cost in the developing world.

“However, the lack of bold commitment by most of the rich countries is surprising to say the least. That there had to be stiff negotiations on the idea that the cost of medicines impedes access in the developing world makes you wonder if some negotiators hadn’t noticed that busloads of American retirees who have to hop across the U.S. border to Canada to get drugs they can afford. New incentive mechanisms are obviously necessary to promote R&D for medicines that don’t have a market in the developed world.

“Universities can lend a credible voice to the continuing effort but sadly, haven’t yet positively engaged. Given that the process will now continue beyond the November elections in the U.S., they now have a renewed opportunity to work toward a stronger final strategy.”


May 5, 2008 - Posted by | News

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