Universities Allied for Essential Medicines

UAEMers Present at UC Regents Meeting

Yesterday, September 16th, 3 UAEMers gave short presentations to the University of California Regents (the governing board of the UC system) who were meeting on the UC Irvine campus. Timothy Minh and Courtney Reynolds, both 3rd year MD/PhD students at UCI, and Taylor Gilliland, a 2nd year Biomedical Sciences PhD student at UC San Diego, spoke about the need for the UC campuses to ensure that their medical technologies be licensed in a humanitarian manner that ensures availability and access to those in developing countries. Each of them are personally engaged in biomedical research and made it clear to the Regents that current tech transfer policies prevent the products of their efforts in the laboratory and clinic from being able to reach those in need around the world. The ten UC schools must adopt strategies such as the Equitable Access License and engage in patent pools such as UNITAID in order to accomplish these goals.
Links to videos of the presentations:


September 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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 | Leave a comment

Eminent Academics: IGWG Delegates Should Explore New Mechanisms to Correct Current Deficiencies in Medicine System

April 28, 2008
Contact: Ethan Guillen, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines

Eminent Academics: IGWG Delegates Should Explore New Mechanisms to Correct Current Deficiencies in Medicine System

Today eminent academics including Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Sir John Sulston and Dr. Jim Kim of Partners in Health and Harvard University called on World Health Organization delegates to the Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property to consider innovative mechanisms to correct current deficiencies in the access and innovation system.

Speaking of proposals currently under discussion at the IGWG in a joint statement titled, “Making Innovation and Tech Transfer Work for Global Health: The University’s Role and Responsibility to Society,” the signatories wrote:

“These proposals include a treaty on bio-medical R&D and new incentive mechanisms for R&D that would use prizes as incentives for research (including both voluntary open licensing or non-voluntary mechanisms). These ideas, while varied and plausibly contestable in their details, all fall well within the types of solutions that are the result of significant research on the economics of innovation and access.”

The statement also calls on delegates to the IGWG negotiation to consider new solutions to current deficiencies in the drug development and access system stating, “[W]e encourage the Intergovernmental Working Group to support the exploration of new and innovative mechanisms that seek to correct the deficiencies of the current system.”

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines joins in this call and in particular would urge consideration of the Barbados and Bolivian proposals on prize funds and the R&D treaty.

April 29, 2008 Posted by | News | Leave a comment