Rough context notes for May 16th talk at conference about access to medicine in Europe


  1. Affordability: High price of medicines for states and for individuals. Can we afford allowing millions of people to be sick and for many of them to die. Is it ethical that millions of persons, citizens or not, are denied treatments when the marginal costs of the medicines is minimal?

  2. Health Conditionality of rescue operations: Why can´t part of rescue operations of banks or sovereign debt be set aside for keeping people alive or healthy in public health systems?

  3. Transparency: Know what prices paid in procurement of hospitals, states and regions. Efficacy and safety of new and existing medicines is not known because clinical trial data is not available. How can we spend our money right if we don´t even have doctors and patients access to the essential data about how and if the drugs work? Clinical trials regulation.

  4. Public risk, public return: We need social conditionality of affordability of public investments in biomedical research. 70% Cancer research public money but many drugs cost up to 100 thousand euros a month. Taxpayers are risk capitalists but if medicine is successful does not only not revert into the public good, but we have to face unaffordable prices under patent monopoly. “Affordability and accessibility” but Council against in Horizon 2020.

  5. Together we stand, divided we fall: pooled procurement, Why don´t countries get together to buy medicines together? If the EC it is against the rule, we should change the rules.

  6. Justice. Inclusion: Inmigrants and other vulnerable groups. Cheap labour but no health care. Where are EU basic values.

  7. Public knowledge goods: Billlions in H2020 and other publicly financed biomed research results should become publicly available and shared for development of creation generic products from the first day to save lives and public health systems.

  8. Tricks, bribes and pay to delay. Me Toos (over 90% little new therapeutic value), evergreening (never off patent), pay to delay to prevent generics(documented by EC), paying doctors directly to prescribe brand name drugs…

  9. Industry Myths” – We need high prices to pay for R and D. Max 16% of profits spent on R and D according to Pharma. Much more spent on on marketing. Over 12% of medicines researched by industry at any level end up authorized.

  10. De-linkage” Disassociate R and D costs from the production and  final price of medicines. New Models: Innovation inducement prizes, PDPs, Patent pooling, prizes, equitable licensing, open source, open data,

Business as usual is not an option: Health first : Like in South Africa with HIV/Aids: Health emergency: Compulsory Licenses is also an option if other strategies fail. Health is more important than patent monopolies.