Universities Allied for Access to Essential Medicines: Statement of Principles sign now

NO ONE SHOULD BE DENIED access to essential medicines simply because they cannot afford them. Unfortunately, a majority of the global poor who need essential medicines lack access to them.

Universities have the power to help make medicines and health technologies more accessible. Substantial evidence indicates that decreases in the price of medicines correlate with greater access (for individuals) in lower and middle income countries.* Yet currently universities exclusive licensing practices result in monopolies that tend to increase the price of medicines.

Universities reserve the right to decide the terms and conditions under which they license their biomedical innovations. These innovations are significant; universities conduct more than half the United States's basic research and are responsible for important health technologies. Universities thus have the opportunity to develop and to adopt licensing provisions that increase the global poors access to key biomedical innovations.

WE CALL UPON universities to seize this opportunity and to adopt licensing strategies consistent with their institutional commitments to the public interest. We, the undersigned, call upon our university and other universities:

(1) to adopt licensing language that facilitates access in low and middle income countries to medicines and health technologies originating in university research; and

(2) to measure the success of technology transfer activities by the degree to which they facilitate global access; and

(3) to promote research on diseases which principally impact the global poor (commonly referred to as neglected diseases, given the failure of market forces to stimulate research and development) and to find ways to work with non-profits that seek to develop medicines for those diseases.



* See, for example, Juan Rovira, Trade Agreements, Intellectual Property, and the Role of the World Bank in Improving Access to Medicines in Developing Countries, 4 Yale J. Health Poly L,. Ethics 401 (2004); Mйdecins sans Frontiиres, Equitable Access: Scaling Up HIV/AIDS Treatment in Developing Countries (World AIDS Days 2002 Briefing Paper, Nov. 27, 2002); Mйdecins sans Frontiиres, Surmounting Challenges: Procurement of Antiretroviral Medicines in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (2003); and Mohga K. Smith, Generic Competition, Price and Access to Medicines: The Case of Antiretrovirals in Uganda (Oxfam Briefing Paper No. 26, July 10, 2002).

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Kaitlin HowardBy:
School and EducationIn:
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University Administrations

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