[Ip-health] UAEM Students launch campaign to Press Regents to Drop Patent Claim on Xtandi

Merith Basey merith at essentialmedicine.org
Wed Mar 14 18:52:15 PDT 2018


*FOR RELEASE MARCH 15th*

https://uaem.org/press/press-releases-statements-by-uaem/


UAEM Students launch campaign to press Regents to Drop Patent Claim on
Xtandi Cancer Drug in India

March 15, 2018

Yesterday, March 14, 2018, Kayla Gu, a medical student at UCLA, spoke
before the University of California (UC) Board of Regents on behalf of
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), Knowledge Ecology
International (KEI) and the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT).
This was the second time a coalition of organizations including UC students
had asked the University of California to drop its pursuit of a patent on
the prostate cancer drug enzalutamide (brand name Xtandi) in India.  Prior
requests made on behalf of the coalition have been formally rejected or
ignored.

Ms Gu statement is included below:

“As medical students at UCLA and future physicians, we feel almost
personally responsible. When we first came to medical school, one of the
first things we learned was that, as future providers, we need to not only
master medical knowledge, but also take on the social responsibility to
promote health delivery and access. At our student-run homeless clinic, we
work in underserved communities to deliver medical services to those who
can’t afford healthcare, all the while the prices for essential drugs
rapidly rise and our patients are being gouged by these high price tags.
Xtandi is one such drug, priced at $129,000, that has become out of reach
for patients here and abroad.

In 2009, the University of California adopted licensing guidelines that
states that we will “ensure an appropriate return of taxpayer investments
in University Research”.  Xtandi is a drug developed on UCLA’s campus with
public funding from the National Institutes of Health and Department of
Defense. It is now sold at an exorbitant price both in the United States
and abroad. We would like to ask the Board if they will take action to
uphold these licensing guidelines and ensure that our patients’ and the
public’s interests and investment are protected and rewarded.

The licensing guidelines recognize that “the ability of underprivileged
populations to access and afford these technologies may be constrained by
price or distribution” and the University of California system has
committed to “uphold our public benefit mission” and “consider such public
benefit and broad societal needs when developing licensing strategies for
such technologies”. While Xtandi has already been licensed to the
pharmaceutical industry without such protections for pricing for patients
worldwide, we urge UCLA, our institution, to not further restrict access by
continuing to pursue this patent claim in India on the behalf of the
companies the drug had been licensed to. As a public institution with
multiple statements from the Health System and UCLA leadership on
protecting health access, we hope that the University will carry out these
statements by dropping this patent claim. Otherwise, the teaching we’ve
been receiving in our classrooms to act on our patients’ best interests is
simply words, not action.

As proud UCLA students, we believe that we are acting on our conscience. We
urge UCLA to do the same by not further pursuing this patent claim in India
and preventing patients from being able to access a more affordable
prostate cancer medication”.

Due to the continued lack of action being taken by the Board of Regents,
UAEM, KEI and UACT are now launching a sign on letter calling for students
and alumni of the UCLA community along with partner organizations, to fight
on behalf of the patients that cannot afford these taxpayer-funded drugs,
rather than fight a legal battle on behalf of pharmaceutical corporations.

To support the campaign to ask UCLA to drop the patent claim and
#takebackXtandi sign here: https://actionnetwork.org/
petitions/students-demand-ucla-protect-access-to-drug

To learn more or to get engaged please email: administrator at uaem.org

-- 
*Join UAEM's campaign to take back our meds <http://bit.ly/TBOMpledge>! *

*Merith Basey MSc*
Executive Director, North America
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines <http://uaem.org/>
202-556-7319 <(202)%20556-7319>
@uaem @globalDiaBEATes


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