[Ip-health] A COALITION OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCH ADVOCACYTRACKER TOOL OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR COVID-19 AT KEY UNIVERSITIES

Merith Basey merith at essentialmedicine.org
Mon May 18 08:12:21 PDT 2020


*A COALITION OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCH ADVOCACY TRACKER TOOL OF
PUBLIC FUNDS FOR COVID-19 AT KEY UNIVERSITIES *

*PRESS RELEASE *
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) - Washington, D.C. MAY
18th, 2020

Today, May 18th, as the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) opens virtually
due to Covid-19, student health advocacy organizations Universities Allied
for Essential Medicines (UAEM), the Student National Medical Association
(SNMA), and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) launched an
interactive online advocacy tool that highlights key research universities
and institutions receiving taxpayer funds to develop novel diagnostics,
therapeutics, and/or vaccines for COVID-19. The tool, by visualizing where
public funding is being directed, is designed to be used to hold research
universities and institutions accountable to their responsibilities to the
public.

“As countries come together virtually for the WHA, it is imperative that
leaders implement sustainable measures to ensure access to and
affordability of vaccines and medicines by recognizing their leverage in
mobilizing a R&D system supported by tax-payer funds, as evidenced by the
extensive research landscape visualized by our tracking tool.” said Varoon
Mathur, Technology Fellow at the AI Now Institute, and Co-ordinating
Committee Fellow with UAEM, North America.

“As part of our Free The Vaccine campaign we’re calling on all universities
to show leadership in this global crisis through a commitment to open
access provisions via the Open Covid Pledge to ensure publicly-funded
COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines will be accessible and
affordable to all. ” said Merith Basey, Executive Director of UAEM, North
America.

“In these troubling times, traditionally marginalized groups have suffered
from disproportionate rates of illness and death from COVID-19 due to
socioeconomic inequities perpetuated by our society. It is our moral and
ethical obligation to close this gap by advocating for the affordability
and accessibility of any vaccine, treatment, or diagnostic tool that is
developed using public funds,” said Veronica Wright from the SNMA.

This mapping tool illustrates the magnitude of public funding that has been
directed to COVID19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. In North
America, the U.S. government has allocated $1 billion to the NIH as well as
an additional $836 million to the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to support research and development of COVID-19
diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. The Canadian government has
allocated $1.1 billion in taxpayer funding towards COVID-19 research on
vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. A significant proportion of the
research on novel COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines builds
upon decades of publicly-funded research on other viral diseases such as
HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Ebola, and influenza. Based on our findings alone,
it is clear that any novel COVID-19 diagnostic, therapeutic, and an
eventual vaccine will inevitably have public taxpayer funding supporting
its discovery and therefore the public should have access to the fruits of
the research that they already paid for.

www.publicmeds4covid.org

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: North America: administrator at uaem.org +1
510-868-1159 Europe: office at uaem.org

*Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)* is a global network of
university students organizing on their campuses to ensure that
publicly-funded medicines are accessible and affordable to the public.
*The Student National Medical Association (SNMA)* is committed to
supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students,
addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number
of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious
physicians.
*The American Medical Student Association (AMSA)* Just Medicine Campaign
strives to increase access to medicines and remove conflicts of interest in
prescribing by empowering physicians and physicians-in-training to advocate
on behalf of patients.

-- 

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

Join us: Become a UAEM member or supporter here
<https://uaem.nationbuilder.com/sign_up>


More information about the Ip-health mailing list