A New Access to Medicines Initiative: Medicines Law & Policy

By Jacquelyn Veraldi, University of Groningen, j.d.veraldi@rug.nl

This week during the WHO’s 70th World Health Assembly, GHLG member Ellen ‘t Hoen announced the launch of the new website, ‘Medicines Law & Policy’, established with colleagues Pascale Boulet and Kaitlin Mara, all experts in intellectual property and access to medicines.  ML&P provides expertise in the form of policy and legal analyses, best practice models, and other information to work toward the goal of ensuring the availability of effective, safe, and affordable medicines for all.
Continue reading

Vision for sustainable access to innovative medicines: GHLG & UMCG’s Global Health Unit respond to the OECD

By: Katrina Perehudoff, Global Health Unit Department of Health Sciences, UMCG Groningen, katrina.perehudoff@gmail.com

Excessively high prices of innovative medicines threaten patient access and health system sustainability in developing and industrialised countries alike. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched a new initiative to facilitate high-level dialogue between stakeholders on access to innovative medicines and the sustainability of prices. On April 30, 2017, members of the GHLG Research Centre and the Global Health Unit in the Dept. of Health Sciences at the University Medical Centre Groningen responded to OECD’s online consultation for sustainable access to innovative medicines. Below are excerpts from our response.

Continue reading

The Italian Exception: A personalised approach to accessing high-priced patented medicines

By Ellen ‘t Hoen, Global Health Unit Department of Health Sciences, UMCG Groningen, e.f.m.t.hoen@umcg.nl

At the end of March 2017, the Italian Minister of Health Beatrice Lorenzin authorised the importation of generic medicines. She did this with only a veiled reference to the high-priced hepatitis C (HCV) medicine sofosbuvir, marketed under the trade name Sovaldi. However, the authorisation is not restricted to the treatment of HCV and can be used to find alternatives for any medicine not available or affordable in Italy.

Continue reading

Monitoring needed for improving access to health care of irregular migrants

By Veelke Derckx, University of Utrecht, v.l.derckx@uu.nl

Irregular migrants face obstacles when trying to obtain health care. In order to enjoy the right to health, it is necessary to create a central reporting point to monitor actual obstacles in the access of health care of irregular migrants.

Continue reading

Voices in the Field: Dr. Adriaan van Es

Dr. Adriaan van Es, founder and Secretary of GHLG partner IFHHRO, is an MD, family doctor and counselor on end-of-life decisions.  Dr van Es is also active in health related human rights advocacy.  Learn more from the video below as part of our interview series, Voices in the Field*

Continue reading

Voices in the Field: Robert Simons

Robert Simons has gained extensive knowledge as a practitioner working with human rights. Simons was previously the Nurse Director of the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and has international healthcare experience in Sudan, Pakistan and Vietnam.  Currently, he serves as a Chair of IFHHRO, the Medical Human Rights Network.  In the following video, Simons joins Voices in the Field* to discuss his time working in a Sudanese refugee camp and with Romanian political prisoners, and to share one important message with colleagues and decision makers.

Continue reading

Access to medicines amendment of the WTO TRIPS Agreement– hype or hope?

By Ellen ‘t Hoen, Global Health Unit Department of Health Sciences, UMCG Groningen, e.f.m.t.hoen@umcg.nl

On 30 January the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced the first ever amendment to the TRIPS Agreement under the headline WTO members welcome entry into force of amendment to ease access to medicines.

WTO members were celebrating and some media reported the announcement as a major breakthrough. Here is some sobering background to the announcement.

Continue reading