With its new code of conduct, the Association Innovative Medicines (Vereniging Innovatieve Geneesmiddelen (VIG)) – the industry association for the Dutch branches of innovative pharmaceutical companies – has failed to set out a moral compass that answers urgent societal questions regarding high medicine prices and the pharmaceutical industry. This is Wemos’ main message in a first reaction to the new code of conduct, which has been published today.
What an eventful year it has been. 2019 was filled with collaborations, workshops, new publications, media moments, and mutual learning sessions. And it was the anniversary year in which we looked back on 40 years of our work in protecting global public health. We’re ready for 2020!
To realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) everywhere, governments should abandon Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth as a policy objective and place more emphasis on SDG17 on global co-operation. That is one of the main conclusions of the paper ‘ ‘How healthy is a ‘healthy economy’? Incompatibility between current pathways towards SDG3 and SDG8’ by Wemos’ global health advocates Mariska Meurs, Lisa Seidelmann and Myria Koutsoumpa, published today in the academic journal Globalization & Health.
Pharmaceutical company Lupin Europe is aiming to bring an existing medicine for a rare muscle disease on the market under a new name and at a much higher price. The Dutch public television programme ‘Kassa’, with more than one million viewers, reported this on November 2nd, showing how this pharmaceutical company uses public research to increase its profit margins. “This is unjustifiable and even condemnable,” says Wemos’ global health advocate Ella Weggen in the programme.
With prices of medicines skyrocketing under the current system of medicine development, the shortcomings of this R&D model are increasingly proving their right. Contributing to the search for possible alternative innovation mechanisms, Wemos, Health Action International and the University of Utrecht brought together representatives of government and academia on the 5th of November, with the event: LICENSING AND PUBLIC GENERATED KNOWLEDGE: SEEKING A SOCIALLY SUSTAINABLE BALANCE
Wemos conducted a case study on the application of Dutch Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy instruments for business strengthening in the healthcare context. With our discussion paper “‘Best Public value for public money?’ The case of match-funded multi-hospital infrastructure development in Tanzania”, we share the findings and key points from the in-depth discussions of those findings with civil society and other organisations – in Tanzania and the Netherlands.
In today’s global health landscape, Public Private Partnerships, or PPPs, are continuosly being formed to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our era, that indeed call for a multi-sectoral approach and sustained collaboration between all actors. Wemos is actively involved in the debate around the role of PPPs in achieving Universal Health Coverage. For example during the World of Health Care ‘congresstival’ that took place in Rotterdam on september 26th, where we co-organized a panel discussion on the role of PPPs in preventing epidemics.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFa) is developing a strategy to invest in better future prospects for young people, with a focus on education and work. Young people (15-35 years) in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa) regions are the target group. As Wemos, we gave our input on this subject during the consultation round that MoFa ran from half of July until the 30th of August. The final strategy on Youth, Education and Employment is yet to be published.
In our advocacy for more and better financing for health, we find it important that the call for adequately funding Universal Health Coverage (UHC) takes on board the lessons learned on funding for HIV. Therefore, Wemos worked together with STOPAIDS members, allies and partners on this factsheet on UHC and HIV, which was disseminated at the High-Level Meeting on UHC earlier this week.
A well-balanced debate on fair drug prices in Brussels is still being obstructed on all sides by the continuous pharma lobby, reports EU correspondent Lise Witteman from Follow The Money. For her research article, one of the people she spoke with was our global health advocate Ella Weggen