If we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), we will need to do better for women and children. They are disproportionately exposed to poverty-related and neglected diseases. How can biomedical Research & Development (R&D) and policy improve this (gender) gap? Director Mariëlle Bemelmans will join a panel discussion on this topic at the event ‘Healthcare, Gender and Inclusive R&D: How can we do better for women and children?’, jointly organized by DNDi, FIND, IAVI, IPM, MMV and TB Alliance, at 7AM in The Hague on February 13th.
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.
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
“This lawsuit is of great significance. This is the first time a health insurer in the Netherlands has filed a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company for incorrectly adhering to a patent.” This is what global health advocate Ella Weggen said in the programme EenVandaag, about the ruling of the trial Menzis vs. AstraZeneca, which has been scheduled for June 24th [editor note: update May 2020 – see below].
The report ‘Overpriced’, which we published together with partner organisation SOMO in May, shows how Dutch tax money is used for the development of new medicines in the Netherlands. We have issued a joint response with SOMO, in reaction to Minister Bruin’s answers to parliamentary questions about the findings of our report.
“A collective stranglehold”. This is how the debate moderator Martijn de Greve described the current pharmaceutical system during last night’s debate ‘Pharma’s Other Futures’ in the Rode Hoed. “Although everyone can find faults within the current system, everyone also somehow benefits from the system,” said Carla Hollak (Professor in Metabolic Diseases) just before that. And that is exactly why implementing good alternatives is so difficult. Despite the complex issues discussed, there was ample room for an open conversation and many ideas about how we can improve the system and realize an alternative one.
There is increasing pressure on access to affordable, innovative medicines for many European citizens. Change is urgently needed. This key message emerges from the joint manifesto by several members of the Medicines Network Netherlands (Medicijnen Netwerk Nederland), of which Wemos is a member. The publication of the manifesto anticipates the European Parliament elections to be held on 23 May 2019.
Increasingly more medicines have become unaffordable in the current medicines system. How can we solve this pressing issue? Can we think of any alternative systems? On Thursday May 16th, Wemos, Commons Network and the Rode Hoed will organize the debate ‘Farma’s Other Futures’. General practitioners, researchers, politicians and experts will take the stage to discuss alternatives to the current medicines system – for the good of access to medicines.