[Ip-health] UAEM's first Canadian University Report Card - Global Equity in Biomedical Research: Launched Today!

Merith Basey merith at essentialmedicine.org
Tue Oct 3 05:26:07 PDT 2017

********FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *October 3, 2017*****


*CONTACT: *Varoon Mathur, 646-363-4482 <(646)%20363-4482>,
reportcard at uaem.org


*Following the Zika Virus epidemic student advocates call for increased
accountability from universities to take the lead in addressing neglected
global health needs and responding to the access to medicines crisis at
home and abroad*

****To view full results for all 15 universities on October 3rd, visit:    *
*www.globalhealthgrades.org/Canada2017 ****

*WASHINGTON, DC*— Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) today
is releasing the first Canadian iteration of its *University Report Card:
Global Equity in Biomedical Research*
The University Report Card grades and ranks leading research universities
in Canada on their commitment to biomedical research that addresses
neglected global health needs, as well as transparency in clinical trial

"Canadian Universities play a critical role in addressing global challenges
such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and other neglected diseases. It is
imperative that we continue to give priority to the lives of millions
through licensing practices that allow our world-class research to reach
those that need it most”, says Stephen Lewis, Co-Director of AIDS-Free
World and Canada’s former Ambassador to the United Nations. “This Report
Card helps us measure the impact our universities have on global health. It
clearly shows Canadian Universities are falling short: students, faculty
and related communities must jolt the Universities into sanity."

The findings reveal that many of Canada's major research universities are
not doing enough to advance biomedical research for neglected diseases or
to make their life-saving medical breakthroughs available for the people
who need them most. The 15 universities included in the Report Card, part
of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, are a collective of
Canada’s leading research-intensive universities and account for $8.5
billion in research annually while contributing $36 billion to the Canadian
economy each year (http://u15.ca/our-impact). These universities are major
drivers of medical innovation. Yet, the University Report Card shows that
universities are missing this key opportunity to lead.

UAEM is publicly calling for Canadian universities to devote more funding
to neglected disease research, increase “global access licensing” of new
medical innovations to help encourage low-cost production of new
medications globally, and increase transparency when it comes to publishing
clinical trial data and advancing open frameworks for scientific research.

“Universities have a responsibility to ensure that the fruits of their
research and development are accessible to the people who need them most”
said Merith Basey, Executive Director of Universities Allied for Essential
Medicines, a student-driven organization working to ensure than
publicly-funded medicines are affordable to the public. “Decisions about
how universities patent and license to pharmaceutical corporations
translate into life and death consequences for people.”

The University Report Card graded universities on criteria focused on
innovation (investing in medical research that addresses the neglected
health needs of low- and middle-countries), access (university licensing of
medical breakthroughs for commercial development to ensure affordable
treatments for people living in low- and middle income-countries),
empowerment (how schools are educating students on global health issues),
and transparency (how receptive schools were to providing relevant
information to the first three sections).

Student advocates noted that alternative licensing models had no negative
impact on schools’ ability to fund and conduct research. “What we’ve seen
is that when schools license their research in ways that take into account
and furthermore protect the health needs of low- and middle-income
countries, they are able to save lives and actually encourage rather than
inhibit innovation,” said Varoon Mathur, a student leader with UAEM.

Some of the major findings from the 2017 report card include:

*-  **Only 1 school received an overall “A” Grade. On the transparency
portion of the report card, grading a school’s willingness to share data,
the average grade an institution received was a “C”.*

-    *37.53%*  - *the average percentage of completed clinical trials that
have had their data shared/disclosed publicly by a University*

-      *5.67% *-  *the average percentage of University funding received
from CIHR, NSERC and the Gates Foundation dedicated to global health
research, training and collaborations*

-    *1.20%*  -  *the average percentage of University funding from CIHR,
NSERC, and the Gates Foundation dedicated to Neglected Diseases (as defined
by the WHO), neglected aspects of HIV/AIDS, TB. Malaria, antimicrobial

"UAEM’s Canadian Report Card highlights a worrying lack of transparency on
publicly funded biomedical research carried out by Canadian Universities.
With only a third of clinical trials data disclosed and only one university
adopting global access licensing, this Report card proves once again that
universities have a long way to go. It is time for universities to fulfill
their responsibility to ensure that publicly funded biomedical research is
available for the public good", said Rachel Kiddell-Monroe, ISID Professor
of Practice at McGill University.

UAEM obtained the University Report Card data by accessing publicly
available sources, such as university websites, online grant databases, and
search engines. University officials were also asked to provide data
through a survey designed and provided by UAEM. The organization aims to
use the University Report Card to advance the accountability and
transparency of universities on their research and licensing practices.
UAEM is offering to support the universities receiving low scores to
address and improve their practices and seeks to initiate a dialogue with
and between universities around measures they can take on their campuses to
better ensure equitable access to life-saving biomedical innovations for
all. Now more than ever UAEM is calling upon students and faculty members
alike to hold their institutions accountable for their public commitments
to neglected areas of global health and access to medicines.

*About UAEM: *Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) is a
global movement of university students organizing on their campuses and
beyond to ensure that publicly funded medicines and medical innovations are
affordable and accessible to the public. UAEM seeks to: 1) Promote access
to medicines for people in developing countries by changing norms and
practices around university patenting and licensing; 2) Ensure that
university medical research meets the needs of much of the world's
population; 3) Empower students to respond to the access and innovation
crises. Since its founding in 2001, UAEM has grown into an international
network of students in medicine, law, public health and related fields with
chapters on nearly 100 university campuses in 20 countries*. *The
University Report Card project has been replicated in the US, UK and
Germany with new versions in the works. *Find out more at*
*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/>
@uaem @globalDiaBEATes

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