Tag: pharma

Why the VIG Code of Conduct fails to put health first

Robin Veenman (former research intern at Wemos and Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation & master student Political Science at the University of Amsterdam)

Earlier this year, the Association Innovative Medicines (or Vereniging Innovatieve Geneesmiddelen – VIG – the industry association for the Dutch branches of innovative pharmaceutical companies) published its new code of conduct. Unfortunately, in a time when high medicine prices are a pressing societal problem, the code omits any mentioning of the pharmaceutical industry’s pricing policy. For my research at Wemos and Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation, I aimed to find out why, and came to the conclusion that the code is a symptom of a neoliberal system within the pharmaceutical industry, guided by profit maximisation instead of public health.

Continue reading

A strong health system is a prerequisite for sexual and reproductive health and rights

Access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) has still not been achieved in many countries and regions. For example, in Africa, 24.2% of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for family planning. SRHR can only be supported and enabled in a country with a strong, responsive and well-functioning health system. This health system should be sustainably financed, and properly staffed with sufficient and skilled health workers. In our short paper, we explain why a strong health system is a prerequisite for SRHR.

Continue reading

Biomedical R&D: how can we do better for women and children?

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.

Continue reading

Is blended finance the key to health and development?

Barbara Fienieg

How can we better align our spending and finance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS)? This was one of the central questions at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) third high-level annual conference ‘Private Finance for Sustainable Development’, held in Paris on January 29th 2020. On January 28th, I participated as a panelist in an expert discussion on blended finance in the health sector preceding this conference.

Continue reading

The warm heart of Africa

Valeria Huisman

Looking down from the plane, I see a vast green landscape. A house here and there, and beautiful mountains in the background. It is my first glance of “the warm heart of Africa” as Malawi is affectionately called. I feel excited. In the days ahead I will visit health facilities and talk to nurses, midwives and other health workers, to hear about their experiences first hand. As Wemos’ communication manager I of course know of the challenges in the Malawian health system; the facts, numbers, and graphs, all leaning to the wrong side of the balance. But, being there, seeing, hearing, sensing the personal stories; it will make a big impact on me.

Continue reading

The 2019 wins for the access to medicines movement

Tom Buis

2019 was an exciting year for those who work in the field of pharmaceutical policy. The topic of access to medicines is climbing higher on the political agenda. Not just in the Netherlands – where this topic has already been one of the political priorities for quite some time – but also in the EU and at the World Health Organization (WHO). With all this attention for pharmaceutical policies, the global access to medicines movement will have the opportunity to make 2020 a game-changing year.

Continue reading

How do we license publicly funded medicines so that it will benefit the public?

Winne van Woerden

Cases of soaring drug prices are frequently reaching the news lately. The current system of medicine development does not achieve what it was intended for: to provide equitable access to affordable and effective medicines for the patients that need them. Publicly funded research institutions can be of major influence in changing this – but how? On November 5th, Wemos, Health Action International and Utrecht University organized the event ‘Licensing publicly generated knowledge: seeking a socially sustainable balance’ to have a meaningful discussion on the role of publicly funded research institutions in changing the current system of medicine development.

Continue reading

This week: 72nd World Health Assembly

From May 20-28, the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland. Each year, senior health officials from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Member States gather there to discuss the WHO’s progress, new goals and global health agenda and challenges. Wemos will be present as well as a civil society organization and attend sessions on Financing for Health, the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being and Access to Medicines.

Continue reading

Wemos Farma's Other Future's in de Rode Hoed

An evening in De Rode Hoed about Big Pharma, concerns and hope

“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.

Continue reading