ABOUT

A STUDENT VICTORY THAT LAUNCHED A GLOBAL YOUTH-LED MOVEMENT

In 2001, a group of Yale University students together with Médecins Sans Frontières, helped convince Yale and the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb to permit generic production of a critical Yale-discovered HIV/AIDS drug in sub-Saharan Africa, triggering dramatic 30-fold price reductions. This was the first such concession on an HIV/AIDS drug; price cuts on other medications soon followed. This enabled a major scale-up of HIV treatment throughout the continent. The campaign showed those students that, as major contributors to drug development, universities are well positioned to influence the way medical technologies are developed and distributed, and thus can do much to help alleviate the access-to-medicines crisis.

Since this initial victory, UAEM has grown into a worldwide student organization with chapters at over 100 research universities on 6 continents in more than 20 countries, and a membership which includes students of medicine, science, public health, economics, and many other areas. These young activists have convinced over 30 leading universities around the world to adopt biomedical research patenting and licensing policies that contribute to ensuring that life-saving medical innovations are accessible and affordable to the people who need them.

We are a global network of university students who believe that our universities have an opportunity and a responsibility to improve global access to public health and life-saving medicines. Many of the important medicines and health technologies are developed in university laboratories with public funds. Compounding the need for health equity and justice globally, today it is no longer only lower income nations that are profoundly affected by the research, patenting, and licensing decisions made by universities. We believe these our drugs, our labs, our responsibility.

OUR VISION

Universities and publicly funded research institutions will be part of the solution to the access to medicines crisis by promoting medical innovation in the public interest and ensuring that all people regardless of income have access to medicines and other health-related technologies.

OUR MISSION

As a non-profit organization rooted in a global movement of university students, UAEM aims to:

(1) promote access to medicines and medical innovations where barriers exist primarily by changing norms and practices around academic patenting and licensing, supported by our own independent research,

(2) ensure that university medical research meets the needs of people worldwide and actively supports the creation of new needs-based approaches to R&D and

(3) empower students to respond to the biomedical access and innovation crisis by advocating for the most promising global biomedical R&D system that works for all.

OUR VALUES

As committed students from all over the world who passionately believe in social justice and health equity, we find it unacceptable that millions of people do not have access to medicines. We are particularly concerned about people who are disproportionately affected by the access to medicines crisis.

Universities have a social contract with society and, as educational and research institutions, they have a responsibility to promote and manage the deployment of innovations for the public benefit. In no field are the moral imperatives to do so as clear as they are in medicine.

Students are uniquely positioned to push for normative change anchored in their universities and research institutions. We will use the intellectual sophistication, rigor and integrity of our members to fight for increased innovation as well as access to medicines and  health-related technologies for all.

Our work is guided at all times by principles of non-partisanship, democracy, transparency, solidarity and respect.

 


ADVISORY BOARD

The Advisory Board supports the implementation of UAEM’s overarching mission and provides expertise for our projects.  The advisors are internationally renowned experts on access and innovation in global public health, several with specialized knowledge of patenting and licensing policies connected to university and publicly funded research.

 

RACHEL KIDDELL-MONROE

ELLEN ‘T HOEN

ANTHONY SO

 

AMY KAPCZYNSKI

SARA AVIEL

 

GLOBAL GOVERNANCE COUNCIL

Established in 2016 in response to the international spread of the student-lead access to medicines movement, UAEM Global, managed by the ComEx (Executive Committee), provides oversight and support for international policy and governance, maintaining a coherent UAEM network in line with our vision, mission and values. Global campaigns are selected and harmonized via UAEM Global. UAEM Global also works to ensure that both established and new voices of UAEM are heard in UAEM's governance, via democratic representation, meaningful participation, shared resources and forward thinking.

JUSTIN MENDOZA

Executive Director, North America

ANNA PEIRIS

Executive Director, Europe

LUCIANA LOPES

Executive Director, Brazil

None

RAFAEL ALMEIDA

Brazilian Representative

None

JENNIFER NGUYEN

North American Representative

ALI GREENBERG

North American Representative

None

SABRINA WIMMER

European Representative

 

ANJA WIEMERS

European Representative