[Ip-health] PRESS RELEASE: McGill & University of Calgary join UBC to ADOPT Global Access Licensing

Merith Basey merith at essentialmedicine.org
Thu Nov 1 08:04:45 PDT 2018


Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)

November 1, 2018

McGill and the University of Calgary join UBC to Adopt Global Access
Licensing Principles helping to ensure accessibility and affordability of
life-saving medicines developed with taxpayer dollars

Calgary and Montreal, Canada: Lifesaving medicines developed at the
University of Calgary and McGill University will now be made more
accessible and affordable for those who need them. Student-driven
organization Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) is proud to
announce that the University of Calgary has recently adopted Global Access
Licensing Principles, and McGill University has also announced an upcoming
adoption. These two universities join the University of British Columbia
(UBC), a pioneer in Canada, which introduced GAL in 2007. Universities
Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) is a global grassroots movement of
university students and academics organizing on their campuses to ensure
that publicly-funded medical research meets the needs of people everywhere,
regardless of income.

Global Access Licensing (GAL) specifically refers to a set of licensing
principles and strategies that promote access to medicines and life-saving
health technologies that are developed within university labs and are
publicly-funded. Intellectual property can pose a significant barrier to
affordability of medicines for vulnerable and marginalized populations, due
to exorbitant prices resulting from a lack of competition. In response,
UAEM students formed the GAL framework, which include directives for
providing non-exclusive licensing for technologies to increase access in
low- and middle-income countries. GAL has most often been implemented at
universities across the world directly stemming from student advocacy and
engagement. In May 2008, UBC issued its first licensing deal in accordance
to the GAL in order to disseminate an oral formulation of Amphotericin B to
target the infectious diseases Leishmaniasis.

“This is an incredible display of student advocacy at the local level that
has the potential for tremendous impact on access to medicines globally “
said Merith Basey, Executive Director of UAEM, North America.

Isabel Levine, UAEM McGill chapter President said “Our McGill UAEM chapter
couldn’t be more excited about our university’s commitment to Global Access
Licensing. We look forward to finalizing the wording of the GAL framework
document, and to hold McGill accountable to its principles once it is
published. There is always more to be done, but what a great step in our
fight for access to medicines.”

“It’s very exciting that the University of Calgary has taken this step to
promote global access to medicines, demonstrating commitment to global
citizenship in line with its EyesHigh goals”, said Asha Hollis, MSc/MD
student at the University of Calgary

The adoption of global licensing principles by two leading universities in
Canada comes at a critical moment for Canada as UAEM Advisory Board Member
Rachel Kiddell-Monroe and Student member Louise Kyle testified on October
18th in front of the Standing Committee on Health on Bill M-132. On behalf
of UAEM the team proposed the adoption of GAL principles as the starting
point to many new medicines for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
(CIHR). The adoption of GAL would attach a non-exclusive licensing
requirement to any funding from the CIHR, a publicly-funded institution
that invests $1 billion every year in health research. “What we see, is
it's actually a very simple proposition. Basically, it's that medicines
funded by the public should be accessible to the public” said
Kiddell-Monroe. Dr. Jason Nickerson of Doctors without Borders Canada also
served as a key witness calling for increased transparency, and reinforcing
UAEM’s position on publicly-funded research: “ensuring a public return on
public investment should be a guiding principle of publicly funded health

The commitments made by McGill and the University of Calgary, combined with
the efforts of the current Canadian government to curtail high drug costs,
marks a historic shift in the discourse surrounding affordable healthcare.
Public institutions are working towards implementing effective solutions
that do justice to public funding of medical research. These commitments
signal to the rest of the country--and to other publicly funded
institutions worldwide--that Canada is a shining example of dedication to
its people and their health. Research intensive universities and
institutions that have not committed to adopting GAL can look to the
language introduced by McGill, U of C and UBC to join their ranks in
urgently addressing barriers that lead to preventable deaths from treatable
diseases. Kyle said that “where a private pharmaceutical corporation is
responsible to its shareholders, universities answer to the public”, and
UAEM urges students--and the public--to hold their publicly-funded
institutions accountable.

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)

Contact: Merith Basey, Executive Director UAEM, North America

Email: merith at uaem.org

Telephone: 202 556 7319

Contact: Asha Hollis, Student Lead, UAEM Calgary

Email: ajhollis at ucalgary.ca

Phone: 403 992 8110

UAEM: Universities Allied for Essential Medicines is a global grassroots
movement of university students and academics organizing on their campuses
to ensure that publicly-funded medical research meets the needs of people
everywhere regardless of income. Find out more at http://uaem.org/


*Merith Basey MSc*
Executive Director, North America
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines <http://uaem.org/>
@uaem @globalDiaBEATes

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