Canadian Universities Not Contributing Enough To Neglected Health Needs, UAEM Report Says 03/10/2017 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)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. The evaluation is based on key questions including: to what extent are universities investing in innovative biomedical research that addresses the neglected health needs of resource-limited populations; when universities license their medical breakthrough for commercial development, are they doing so in ways that ensure equitable access for marginalised and vulnerable populations in high, middle and low-income countries; and what steps are universities taking to ensure innovative treatments are made available at affordable prices. The “report card” is not flattering for a number of those universities. If the University of British Columbia gets an A, and McGill University a B+, at the other end of the list, Western University gets a D+, and the University of Waterloo a D. According to a UAEM press release, many of Canada’s major research universities “are not doing enough to advance biomedical research for neglected diseases or to make their life-saving medical breakthroughs available for the people who need them most,” according to a report published today by the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM). “Canadian Universities play a critical role in addressing global challenges such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and other neglected diseases. It is imperative that we continue to give priority to the lives of millions through licensing practices that allow our world-class research to reach those that need it most,” Stephen Lewis, co-director of AIDS-Free World and Canada’s former Ambassador to the United Nations said in the release. UAEM is calling “for Canadian universities to devote more funding to neglected disease research, increase global access licensing of new medical innovations to help encourage low-cost production of new medications globally, and increase transparency when it comes to publishing clinical trial data and advancing open frameworks for scientific research.” Rachel Kiddell-Monroe, ISID Professor of Practice at McGill University, said in the release that the Report Card “highlights a worrying lack of transparency on publicly funded biomedical research carried out by Canadian Universities. With only a third of clinical trials data disclosed and only one university adopting global access licensing, this Report card proves once again that universities have a long way to go.” Ways to Increase Score Among measures universities can take, according to the Report Card, is to increase the proportion of research resources devoted to health in low-and lower middle-income countries and neglected diseases. Universities are also requested to invest in project that build the university’s global health research capacity, such as new research facilities, or strategies to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. Also recommended by the report card is to adopt a public commitment to socially responsible or “global access” licensing for university medical innovations, and to prioritise open, non-exclusive licensing of university technologies to promote competitive development and affordable end products. Universities should refrain from seeking patents, the UAEM said, or “file and abandon” patents on university technologies in low and middle-income countries, allowing generic drug makers in those countries to produce low-cost version of medicines developed from the university’s research. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Canadian Universities Not Contributing Enough To Neglected Health Needs, UAEM Report Says" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.