As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, cancer patients, their doctors and families are struggling to find more information about how COVID-19 could affect them. From what is currently reported, cancer patients are a highly vulnerable group but we do not know yet how vulnerable. We know that cancer and cancer treatments can weaken a patient’s immune systems but there are not many data points, nor test results yet. What is most needed today is collaboration and openness. UACT signed this Open Letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Member States on the proposal by Costa Rica to create a global poolRead More →

DATE: Thursday May 9, 2019 RE: Civil Society Open Letter Regarding Harmful Changes to WHA Transparency Resolution 9 May 2019 – Today more than 100 civil society organizations and health experts sent an open letter to World Health Organization (WHO) Member State delegates urging them to oppose harmful proposed changes to the draft World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution on transparency to be discussed at the 72nd WHA on May 20-28, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The groups and individuals signing the open letter said they were appalled at proposals put forth at informal negotiations at the WHO on Tuesday May 7, 2019, which, “would make thisRead More →

On Wednesday December 5, 2018, UACT, along with KEI, Social Security Works, Health GAP, Public Citizen, Dr. Ophira Ginsburg, and James Love, submitted joint comments in response to a proposed exclusive license for patents on CAR T technology for the treatment of cancers. The Federal Register notice (83 FR 58262) “Prospective Grant of an Exclusive Patent License: Development and Commercialization of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) Therapies for the Treatment of FMS-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3 (FLT3) Expressing Cancers,” outlined the National Institutes of Health’s intent to grant an exclusive license on these technologies to ElevateBio, a company whose leadership includes the investors behind recent budget-breaking treatments,Read More →

Today President Trump promised (again) that he would bring down drug prices and put American patients first. The administration’s approach is to change how Medicare Part B (coverage available as an option for American residents when they are 65 years old or older, or if they qualify through a disability) pays for some of the most expensive prescription drugs, and attempts to imitate (irony alert) what President Trump blames other countries for doing: negotiating prices for their citizens, based largely upon the foreign prices themselves. A planned “international pricing index” (IPI), would cap certain Medicare Part B drug prices to an index from 16 otherRead More →

UACT is disappointed by the preliminary rejection of Yescarta by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) over its high price, for two reasons: 1) Gilead is asking too much for the treatment which is largely based upon the US National Institutes of Health (NIH owned inventions, and 2) the UK government has not given any public indication it is considering alternatives to withholding coverage to address the problem of an excessive price. Yescarta is the Gilead trade name for axicabtagene ciloleucel, a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) technology invented by the NIH, licensed to Kite/Gilead and approved by theRead More →