Universities Allied for Essential Medicines UK is a charity with the aim to improve the access to Essential Medicines for everyone, regardless of their geographical or sociological background.
Many important medicines and public health technologies are developed in academic laboratories. Their accessibility in poor nations is profoundly dependents on the research, patenting and licensing decisions made by those universities.
UAEM is a group of university students who believe that our universities have an opportunity and a responsibility to improve global access to public health goods. They have two main campaign focuses:
- Improving access to drugs developed through publically funded research by ensuring such drugs are allowed to be sold generically in the developing world.
- Improving research into ‘Neglected Diseases’ that affect predominately the poor via influencing local university research priorities.
Why is this issue important?
Each year over ten million people die worldwide from preventable or treatable diseases due to lack of access to medicines (WHO, 2004). Cost is a major barrier to access to medicines and is driven up by universities licensing practices not encouraging generic production of research products.
Additionally, global investments into R&D is disproportionately allocated to research into the disease burden of developed nations, meaning few effective drugs are developed for diseases affecting vast numbers of people in the developing world.
WHO. (2004). Policy Perspectives on Medicines – Equitable access to essential medicines: a framework for collective action [Online]. [Accessed on 20th September 2012]. Available from: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2004/WHO_EDM_2004.4.pdf