Improve Access to Medicines Developed by Edinburgh University
This Association Notes:
Ten million people, most of them in developing countries, die needlessly every year because they do not have access to existing medicines and vaccines (WHO, 2000)
Millions of people in developing countries suffer from neglected diseases because these destitute sick do not constitute a sufficient market opportunity to attract research and development. Only 10% of research funding goes into diseases affecting 90% of the world’s population.
Efforts to tackle these problems by focusing on governmental actors or international treaties, while vital, face serious obstacles. The voice of the pharmaceutical lobby too often overwhelms those of health advocates from civil society and developing countries.
As major contributors to drug development, universities are uniquely positioned to influence the way lifesaving medical technologies are developed and deployed.
Edinburgh University has an avowed commitment to creating and disseminating knowledge for the public good - as reflected in its mission statement:
“As a world-leading centre of academic excellence we aim to […] make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and the world, promoting health and economic and cultural wellbeing.”
This Association Believes:
That access to medical care and treatment is a basic human right. The lack of accessibility to medicines is denying millions of people throughout the world these basic human rights.
Edinburgh University has the power to make medicines and health technologies more accessible to the world’s poor through its technology transfer policies.
Edinburgh University decision makers must be responsive to students, faculty and reasoned debate. Commercial power should not be the currency on campus.
This Association also Believes:
Edinburgh University should ensure low-cost access to its medicines and other health-related innovations in low-and middle income countries (through including licensing terms in technology transfer agreements that ensure low-cost access to health-related innovations).
Edinburgh University should adopt policies which promote and increase research and development into neglected diseases.
Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI) should make global human welfare a primary goal of technology transfer and incorporate this into its mission.
In order to achieve the above stated goals, Edinburgh University should adopt Universities Allied for Essential Medicines’ statement of principles (The Philidelphia Consensus Statement).
This Association Resolves:
To mandate Edinburgh University Students Association, and in particular, the EUSA President and Vice President Academic Affairs to campaign for the above stated 4 goals.
Passed at the November 2008 General Meeting