Access to and availability of essential medicines | Program | DW | 18.05.2015
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Access to and availability of essential medicines

hosted by Ärzte ohne Grenzen / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Wednesday, June 24 / Room D

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aims to bring the best medical care possible to some of the most disadvantaged people on earth. Its medical teams, however, are often hindered in delivering that optimized care. Some of the reasons that people die from diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness and other tropical diseases are that life saving essential medicines are either too expensive, not available because they are not seen as financially viable, or because there is virtually no new research and development for neglected diseases. Also, existing medicines, vaccines and diagnostics are often not adapted to the needs of patients in developing countries.

The Ebola outbreak has brutally shown how urgently change is needed. No drug or vaccine has yet been approved for Ebola, and there is a critical need to accelerate the development of new tools to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. Since within the current system, drugs and diagnostic tests are being developed on the basis of their future market potential rather than on patients’ needs, there is a structural problem that needs to be tackled. Addressing this market failure is a global political challenge.

What we need is change, not charity. During this workshop, MSF representatives will provide an overview of the current challenges and obstacles and present the organization’s work to stimulate research and bring prices down. The panelists will also discuss possible solutions.

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