Online Program

Trading Away Health: MSF on trade and threats to access to affordable medicines

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Jennifer Reid, MPH, Access Campaign, Medecins Sans Frontieres/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF), New York, NY
This presentation describes Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)'s concerns for threats to access to affordable medicines in trade.

Access to affordable, quality generic medicines is a critical component of treatment and global health programs. The majority of the HIV medicines that international humanitarian medical treatment provider MSF uses are generics, and MSF routinely relies on generic drugs to treat a wide range of infectious diseases. Ministries of Health and major donors and leading international treatment providers, including the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, also rely on affordable generic medicines to provide treatment to millions of people worldwide.

In spite of the proven role of generic competition in promoting access to affordable medicines and reducing prices, the U.S. government has pushed for restrictive trade policies that would make it much harder for patients, governments, and treatment providers to access generic drugs. Of particular concern are U.S. demands in trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), as well as through bilateral efforts, for developing countries to agree to create longer, stronger and broader patent and regulatory monopoly protections on medicines. These monopoly protections keep price-lowering competitors out of the market and medicines prices high.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Explain how access to essential medicines is affected by trade policies, why it matters, and how MSF is addressing the problem.

Keyword(s): International Health, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have supported MSF's work on trade and access to medicines for over two years
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.