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Tuesday, 13th January 2015

Trading Away Access to Medicines - Revisited

Source: Oxfam International

From Summary:

The failure of the current pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) system is revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) alert about the lack of effective medicines to address antimicrobial resistance, and the absence of a treatment for the deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging communities in West Africa at the time of writing.

While low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have being suffering from a lack of access to medicines for years, European public health systems have become unable to bear the burden of expensive new medicines. The rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is affecting all people, but is more acutely hitting developing countries that are still struggling with the unfinished business of communicable diseases. Meanwhile, European health systems, badly hit by austerity measures, are under pressure to deliver more with less money, against a backdrop of rising medicine prices.

The European Union (EU) could play a leading role in improving pharmaceutical innovation and access to medicines around the world. However, the European Commission (EC) has implemented a trade agenda that favours the commercial interests of the multinational pharmaceutical industry over the health of people in LMICs. Such trade policies have triggered an outcry from European citizens, experts and organizations, who are asking for the public interest to be prioritized in trade discussions.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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