It is estimated that 2 billion people around the world lack access to essential medicines. While this has the greatest impact in low- and middle-income countries, we have also seen spiralling drug prices in the UK that block patient’s access by forcing the NHS to ration or reject expensive medicines. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable industries in the world.
At STOPAIDS we believe that we should put people before profit. We have historically worked to improve access to medicines and prevent the extreme profiteering of the pharmaceutical industry. We are currently working on access to HIV and COVID-19 health tools and coordinate the Missing Medicines Coalition. You can find out more about our work below:
The Missing Medicines Coalition:
The Missing Medicines Coalition is a network of UK-based organisations working together to fight for all medicines, available for all, affordable for all. Coalition supporters include Oxfam, MSF, Global Justice Now, RESULTS UK, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, Health Poverty Action and Students for Global Health. To find out more about the current work of the Missing Medicines Coalition visit our website.
COVID-19 and access to medicines:
Through the Missing Medicines coalition and work with the Peoples Vaccine Alliance and broader access to medicines movement we have been fighting to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments are accessible for all. Despite being over 2 years into this pandemic, still the majority of people in low income countries are yet to have their first vaccine.
We believe that scaling-up and decentralising the manufacturing of health technologies across the world will help achieve equitable access to pandemic tools now and in the future. To this end our COVID-19 work has focussed on lobbying the UK Government to support a full TRIPS waiver and push pharmaceutical companies to share their manufacturing know-how with producers in the global south. We are also working to influence decisions in agreements such as the WHO Pandemic Accord and UK Government COVID-19 Inquiry.
HIV and access to medicines:
Alongside colleagues working on the prioritisation of and financing for the global HIV response, we continue to work on HIV access to medicines. We are currently advocating for pharmaceutical companies to ensure equitable access to injectable PrEP products such as cabotegravir long-acting.
Over the past two years we have published two new reports with our Missing Medicines allies, the first Pills and Profits: How drug companies make a killing out of public research which shows how taxpayers are funding billions of pounds worth of research into life-changing drugs – only to be told they are too expensive when they need them. The second The People’s Prescription: Re-imagining Health Innovation to Deliver Public Value sets out a vision for a health innovation model that is driven by public health needs and delivers products at prices that patients and health systems can afford. We are currently conducting research exploring these issues in the COVID-19 context. We hope to publish this research in 2022.
Interested in finding out more about our access to medicines advocacy? Contact Advocacy Manager, Saoirse Fitzpatrick, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on the image below to learn more about STOPAIDS’ access to medicines work: