On June 8, 2018 Miroslav Lajčák (Slovak Republic), President of the United Nations General Assembly circulated the zero-draft of the Political Declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Italy (Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi) and Uruguay (Ambassador Elbio Rosselli) have served as the co-facilitators of this negotiation. The zero draft is the initial negotiating text framing the UN’s response to addressing the public health crisis of NCDs globally. Analogous to the high-level process for tuberculosis, this text will be the subject of intense negotiations with countries adding and deleting text over the next four weeks.Read More →

On May 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) held a “Stakeholder Listening Session” in the HHS Hubert H. Humphrey Building Auditorium, 200 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20201 to prepare for the SEVENTY-FIRST WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY A71/1 Geneva, Switzerland 21–26 May 2018 The provisional agenda for the WHA is here: http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA71/A71_1-en.pdf The meeting went from 3pm to about 4pm and about 45 participants had 2 minutes for each intervention on the many agenda item. Most speakers represented industries such as the manufacturers or the sugar related good industries. UACT registered to take the floor for the following item: 11.7 PreparationRead More →

Today, Kayla Gu, MS1 at UCLA spoke to the University of California Board of Regents on behalf of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT). She urged UCLA to drop the patent claim in India on enzalutamide (Xtandi) that would bar affordable access to a lifesaving prostate cancer drug. Kayla knows the story of Xtandi quite well: she presented on the topic at Los Angeles Global Health Conference 2018: Looking In, Looking Out: Balancing Global and Local Priorities in the Current Political Climate on February 3, 2018 and in the following blog: The StoryRead More →

On March 12, 2018, UACT joined 15 other organizations in the United States and Korea in a letter to the United States Trade Representative, urging the administration to ignore the wishes of pharmaceutical lobbyists and to not interfere with patient access to medicines in Korea. Recently, Korea has passed legislation aimed at lowering drug prices and increasing the government’s negotiating power. Pharmaceutical corporations have taken notice, and through the industry lobbyist group PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America), have pressured the U.S. government to retaliate against the country in trade negotiations. In its submission to the USTR’s yearly “Special 301” review of intellectual property protection in otherRead More →

On March 9, 2018, the Chile Ministry of Health issued two documents outlining its decision to recommend a compulsory license on hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug patents. The hepatitis C virus can lead to cancer of the liver and other serious and life threatening health issues. The new drugs to treat HCV are effective for many patients, but in many countries are so expensive that access is limited. When patent barriers are overcome, affordable generic versions of the drugs are available, and treatment access is dramatically improved. Dr. Gilberto Lopes, a member of UACT and also of the UACT Expert Advisory Board offered this statementRead More →