UAEM in The Media

January 7, 2020 by Teddy Rosenbluth
The university once promised to take into account the needs of patients in developing countries. The battle over prostate cancer drug Xtandi has critics questioning its dedication to that pledge
Merith Basey, UAEM North America's ED, was interviewed by Prostatepedia regarding UAEM's transparency campaign. See what she has to say.    
May 2019 by Prostatepedia
March 25, 2019 by Ed Silverman
Results from nearly one-third of hundreds of clinical trials have not been disclosed over the past two years by several of the most prestigious research universities in the U.S., despite federal law requirements, a new analysis has found.
March 26, 2019 by Natalie Grover
Clinical trial data are used by patients, doctors and policymakers to make informed choices about the benefits and safety of interventions — while the methods and results of all trials are crucial to the pace and direction of scientific progress.
March 26, 2019 by Nic Fleming
Many leading US universities are breaking the law by failing to make public the results of their clinical trials..
March 13, 2019 by Divya Schlesinger
Students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) renewed their protests today against a patent claim in an Indian High Court over a leading prostate cancer treatment, saying the claim, if successful, could make the drug unaffordable to millions of people in the developing world.
March 13, 2019 by Stephanie Lai
Students voiced concerns about funding and inclusivity to the University of California Regents at a meet-and-greet followed by a town hall discussion on UC budgeting.
March 10, 2019 by Marcella Pensamiento
To most, UCLA is the bastion of public education – the top public university in the nation. To some, though, it’s a lawyer for pharmaceutical companies.
January 20, 2019
 CALGARY—A set of guidelines recently adopted by the University of Calgary aims to make the school’s medical technology and medicine more affordable around the world.
January 8, 2019
Sri Lankan roots inspire Cumming student Asha Hollis to make sure every family can afford to stay healthy. At 23, Asha Hollis travelled to Sri Lanka and India, where she spoke at an international medical congress and won an award for her presentation.
September 14th, 2018
European Universities aspire to conduct scientific research in accordance with international best practices, however, they fall short of this standard when it comes to clinical trial transparency. A new study by Ben Goldacre from the University of Oxford reveals that results for almost half of all clinical trials conducted in the EU never get published. Universities perform particularly poorly, with a mere 11% of their clinical trials results being reported on the European Clinical Trials Registry.  UAEMers call on their Universities to report their  clinical trial results.
September 6, 2018
Thousands of students have urged a major research university in the United States to drop a patent claim in India related to an important cancer medicine, with the aim of making affordable versions available. Click here to read full article.
March 30th, 2018
Students at UCLA are calling on the university to ease access to a prostate cancer drug developed on campus.The drug, Xtandi, is at the center of a legal battle in India over whether generic competitors can enter the market — a battle in which, students say, the university is on the wrong side. Full article UCLA sells royalty rights connected with cancer drug to Royalty Pharma | UCLA.
March 29th, 2018
On the morning of March 14, a first-year UCLA medical student named Kayla Gu approached the microphone at a meeting of her university’s Board of Regents. Speaking in a white coat with a stethoscope around her neck, she urged the university to drop a patent claim pending at India’s high court, which the David Geffen School of Medicine filed in order to block generic production of the prostate cancer drug enzalutamide, trade name Xtandi. Though developed at UCLA with tens of millions in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Army, the drug giant Pfizer is making billions in profits by pricing a standard course of the drug at $130,000.
March 29th, 2018
New Delhi: In India, a month’s supply of Pfizer’s prostate cancer drug Xtandi costs about Rs 2.7 lakh ($4,172). In the US, however, it sells for about Rs 6.9 lakh ($10,772). The drug was developed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This was done with US taxpayer money, but since then the university has licensed the drug out to the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its partners Medivation and Astellas. UCLA has even sold the royalty rights to a company called Royalty Pharma.
The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow
December 3rd, 2017
UAEM North America's Executive Director Merith Basey was invited back to The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow, to discuss the launch of the new campaign targeting UCLA to drop its patent claim in India on a prostate cancer drug!
The Lancet Global Health Blog 
January 12th, 2018
UAEM NA Coordinating Committee Member Chloe Hogg for her article published today on the Alt Re:Route data visualization tools and the role of universities in envisioning a new system.
The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow
December 3rd, 2017
In an in-depth 15 minute feature interview, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) North America's Executive Director Merith Basey speaks on The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow, spreading UAEM's core message of publicly funded medicines being affordable to the public, using the story of insulin as a cautionary tale, while condemning the nomination of Alex Azar to US Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The American Prospect  
November 28th, 2017
A growing insulin crisis adds urgency to efforts to radically reform the prescription drug pipeline.
As an exhibit of everything wrong with our corporatized health-care system, Donald Trump's first Health and Human Services secretary is a tough act to follow. Less a pharma a bro than a pharma granddad, Tom Price invested in drug makers while serving as their loyal guard dog in congress, where he ferociously protected their public funding and bloated profit margins against regular threats.
Intellectual Property Watch
January 25th, 2017
The Medicines Patent Pool announced today that it has signed a license agreement with Johns Hopkins University for a candidate tuberculosis treatment. Although seen as a major step forward by public health groups, they said the agreement does not include guarantees that the treatment that could be brought to the market would be affordable for all.
January 23rd, 2017
The six candidates for Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) – of whom one will be elected this May – have published responses to an open letter asking them to make clear their plans for the future of the WHO’s work in promoting a new system of equitable drug R&D. The original open letter was signed by 18 civil society organizations, and titled “Will you support a patient-centred R&D agreement?“.
Intellectual Property Watch
January 19th, 2017
A range of civil society organisations have issued a public statement opposing the United States Army’s proposed grant of an exclusive licence on technology necessary to produce a Zika vaccine to French pharmaceutical company Sanofi.
January 2017
Gloria "Tavera, 29 years old, was recognized for her work, beginning in 2005, as a member, board member, and current president of the North American board of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines. The international nonprofit student-driven organization, established in 2001, works to make vital medicines available to patients in countries where they cannot afford them. It has more than 100 chapters at universities in nearly 20 countries."
January 2017
"If universities use federal funds to help invent new medicines, shouldn't they also push to make sure people who need those medicines get them? That's the idea behind Universities Allied for Essential Medicines. Tavera, now an M.D./Ph.D. student at Case Western Reserve University, is a founding member and the current president of the organization, which has 100 chapters at universities in 18 different countries."
The Plain Dealer
January 10th, 2017
"Others on the list include Gloria Tavera, a medical science training candidate at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine"... "a founding member and the current president of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, a global network of university students who believe universities have a responsibility to improve global access to public health goods."
Huffington Post - UAEM India
November 12th, 2016
"Last year, more than 450 academics, including four Nobel laureates, joined Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)'s call for this R&D reform, in a letter to the World Health Organisation. In spite of the profit-driven motives of many Big Pharma-allied representatives from the United States and certain European countries, countries like Brazil, India, and Thailand are still making efforts to move forward with the UNHLP recommendations."
Rahma Wiryomartono
October 31st, 2016
If the McGill chapter’s motion passes on November 7 at the GA, the motion will push the University to “adopt an open access framework for all future medicine patents created at McGill and sold to the private sector.”…..
Prottusha Sarkar, Contributing Reporter
November 11th, 2016
UAEM advocates for access to medicine in many ways, with a few specific student chapter-led campaigns and projects. One campaign, called “Take Back Our Meds,” targets“the National Institutes of Health (NIH) … to ensure that the research they fund at universities [that] leads to a product being developed” is made accessible and affordable to patients both domestically and abroad…..
Common Dreams
July 25th, 2016
Other98 and allies from Social Security Works, Act Up, and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines have teamed up to create an infotaining new website……featuring a series of text message exchanges between a fictional (but accurate) Pharma CEO and everyman John Doe.
Joe My God
July 25th, 2016
Activists targeted candidate Clinton for her refusal to renew her 2008 campaign pledges to regulate the price-gouging of medicines made by major pharmaceutical companies……… The high prices make it hard for people with HIV as well as other people to access the lifesaving treatment they need.
Commonweal Magazine
June 28th, 2016
This current system is very well-designed to do exactly what it does: create maximum profits for pharmaceutical companies. And it has been incredibly resilient to every challenge we make to it.
May 26th, 2016
Public health advocates… had high hopes that this year’s [WHA] could finally agree on some alternative ways to fund [R&D] that can lead to affordable medical products by de-linking R&D costs from prices, through the long-awaited discussion of a landmark 2012 report of a WHO expert group [CEWG] on medical R&D.

Consumer Groups Object to FDA Reforms in Cures Bill
Bloomberg BNA
May 19th, 2016

Thirteen consumer and patient groups May 18 warned members of a Senate committee not to insert proposals in their version of the 21st Century Cures Act that would undermine patient safety and curb access to lifesaving treatments.

Public Health Advocates Urge WHO Action on R&D Financing for the Poor
May 12th, 2016

Public health advocates last week told World Health Organization delegates they must act quickly to save the lives of poor populations suffering from less common diseases for which there is no research and development funding.

February 25th, 2016

Re:Route, a mapping tool that lays out the research and development (R&D) landscape of innovation and financing for medicines, has been launched by the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM). It is a one-stop place for the alternative biomedical research and development landscape.

November 13th, 2015
In a big action campaign, students worldwide turned the spotlight on shortcomings of the global R&D system. With the second edition of its Access to Medicines Week, UAEM called on the scientific community in an open letter to support a global research agreement.
The Huffington Post
May 21st, 2015
We are writing from the 68th World Health Assembly, where a drafting group of Member States are discussing the Framework of Engagement With Non-State Actors (FENSA).

International Coverage:


Investigadores y estudiantes se unen para pedir un Acuerdo Global sobre I+D a la OMS y los Estados Miembros

Diario Medico
6 Noviembre 2015
Estudiantes e investigadores piden un pacto mundial para el acceso asequible a fármacos.

Investigadores y estudiantes se unen para pedir un Acuerdo Global sobre I+D a la OMS y los Estados Miembros [Spain; RADIO]

Canal Medico
10 Noviembre 2015
Científicos e investigadores están firmando una carta abierta dirigida a la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) y a los Estados miembros, pidiendo un Acuerdo global sobre I+D.

Studierendeninitiative: Sozial verantwortlich forschen [Germany]

Dtsch Arztebl
Die Organisation „Universities Allied for Essential Medicines“ macht das geltende Patentsystem für überhöhte Preise und damit für Zugangshürden zu medizinischen Innovationen verantwortlich. Sie plädiert für alternative Forschungsanreize.

Studerende kæmper globalt for billigere medicin [Denmark; RADIO]

3 November 2015
International studenterorganisation vil presse verdens lande til at støtte FN-løsning, der afskaffer medicin-patenter og øger forskning i infektionssygdomme.


Canadian Report Card Media Coverage in 2017-2018:

Visualizing an alternative biomedical R&D system

The Lancet Global Health Blog
January 12th, 2018
In the current biomedical research and development (R&D) system, exclusive IP rights and profit are the primary incentives for creating new drugs. As a direct consequence of this model, as estimated 10 million people die every year because they cannot access life-saving medicines. Existing medicines are often priced out of reach, and many treatments do not exist at all simply because the disease in question affects patients too poor to constitute a market worth investing for. This is a global market and policy failure. How can universities be a part of the solution?

Stone: Inflated drug prices are a burden, but there is a solution 

Calgary Herald
October 24th, 2017
UAEM’s 2017 Canadian University Report Card on Global Equity in Biomedical Research explores how well universities are currently performing. While some universities have made progress, there is a long way to go. A national-level Canadian Institute for Health Information policy would speed up the process and close the gap between those able to afford medicines and those suffering because they cannot, both at home and internationally.

holding public research universities to account on global health

Canadian Medical Association Journal Blogs
October 23rd, 2017
This is the 5th iteration of the report card, but the first time UAEM focused exclusively on public research schools (and exclusively on Canada, for that matter). While there were some promising highlights of what our universities can do when they set themselves to it, overall it is clear that Canadian schools are failing to use their considerable power to address many neglected aspects of global health.

Canadian universities not contributing enough to neglected health needs, uaem report says


Intellectual Property Watch
October 3rd, 2017
The Universities Allied for Essential medicines (UAEM) evaluated 15 Canadian research-intensive universities on their contributions to biomedical research on neglected health needs, access to medicines, and education concerning access and innovation issues. The results show that for a number of those universities, this contribution is sub-optimal.

Report Card Media Coverage in 2015:

University Grades Are Mixed on Research for the Poor

The New York Times
May 11th, 2015
For the second time, American universities have been ranked by how well they do global health research. This time only one — Johns Hopkins — earned a grade as high as A minus.

Holding Universities Accountable for their role in advancing biomedical research which addresses neglected health needs

The Lancet Global Health Blog
April 20th, 2015
The University Report Card: Global Equity and Biomedical Research… serves as an advocacy tool for universities to assess their own progress in investing in innovative medical research that addresses global neglected health needs, as well as focusing on the core role of universities in terms of transforming innovation and access for all.

Not free vaccines, Mr Gates, just sustainably-priced ones

The Lancet Global Health Blog
March 19th, 2015
We believe that a system dependent on raising massive amounts of money to meet arbitrarily high prices set by the pharmaceutical industry is a failed system………. true sustainable vaccine pricing.

Additional 2015 Articles:

Baltimore Sun
Advisory Board Company
Policy Innovations
UCSD’s San Diego Union Tribune
Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health
Johns Hopkins Hub
Boston University Daily Free Press
IP Watch
The Huffington Post
The Daily Pennsylvanian

Report Card Media Coverage in 2013:

The New York Times
BMJ (British Medical Journal)
The Lancet
Interpress Service News Agency
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Toronto Star
The Kaiser Family Foundation
IP Watch
University of Florida Alligator
The Daily Iowan
University of British Columbia
The Vancouver Sun
The University of Alberta Gateway
The Boston University Daily Free Press
The Duke Chronicle–News
Triangle Business Journal
The Duke Chronicle–Editorial
The Times of India
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minnesota Daily
News 1130
New York University’s Washington Square News
The Marquette Tribune
Minnesota Public Radio on Campus
The Dartmouth Daily
The Pitt News
Georgetown University O’Neill Institute