This Newsletter aims to provide information regarding the latest successes, opportunities and changes in UAEM, as well as the most important news from the intersection of intellectual property and global health.
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The Christmas issue!

This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate a year of successful UAEM Europe's actions and campaigns. Happy holidays! Feel free to send us some content for the next edition
Enjoy reading, 
The Newsletter team - Andia, Chris, Irene and Yu Ri
Table of contents

The Newsletter team is now looking for local reporters! 

  • To help maintain the progress of the newsletter, we would like to have a 'reporter/editor' from every country/region in UAEM Europe. If you are reading this, please make sure you discuss it with your fellow UAEMers, to decide how to take this forward.
  • We would like someone from France, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Austria
  • We want to reach more people, so that they stay informed about activities in Europe and they get involved in European activity. 
  • The workload and the type of work  are very flexible. Currently, we do editing, writing, design, and commissioning of articles, and we devote approx 2 hours per month. No experience is necessary at all! 
UAEM Europe is recruiting! A position as Campus Organizer is now open! The COs role will be to help members with campaigns on campus, train students in advocacy, have a close cooperation with student leaders and arrange UAEM conferences and training events. Call for applications is open until Jan 11th (read details here). If you want to join the hiring committee, send an email to the Board by Jan 5th. 
Highlights 2014
A brief retrospective of 2014 - and what great things UAEM Europe has been able to achieve! We've focussed on the larger scale involving or aiming at a variety of people across UAEM Europe as listing the achievements of single chapters would probably make the article insanely long! ;) Here they are, enjoy and celebrate!
... and many others!

We have represented UAEM’s ideas or held workshops at over 14 non-UAEM conferences / forums / open consultations / panels Europe-wide in 2014 (67th WHA, WTO public forum, conference of IPSF (International Pharmaceutical Students Federation), EMSA, etc)!
Can we top this figure in 2015? Yes if the UAEM fire keeps burning – and with UAEM expanding more and more.
New chapters opened in 2014 – Prague, Kazan, Porto, Graz, Warsaw – or are being launched. (Send us a short article if you have successfully opened a new chapter!)
Several Europe-wide projects have had major progress (ASTP-Proton, etc) – check them out on
And we’ve added loads to the UAEM Evidence (if you haven’t checked it out, we urge you to do so!). 
And now?
2015 is going to be another exciting year packed full of energy - new national strategies, a UK Report Card, the Europe Conference in London in April, and hopefully more impact in our universities!

Stay tuned and have a merry Christmas!  
European Working groups

AIM: Access & Innovation Movement

What's this?? Your probably heard of the "Access & Innovation Breakfast/Soirées" project (this is its new name!!!). A group of 9 motivated UAEMers gathered in Madrid for a crazy weekend of tapas, red wine and efficient planning for the upcoming year!  Read more  We set a timeline to develop our pilot project in Madrid, Vienna, London and Berlin. The goal is to engage university researchers in our movement for a new R&D model, starting with new R&D funding models. We will try to implement different advocating formats in 4 cities (meetings, symposium, etc) and evaluate them to see which one is more effective. And then, we will draft a handbook so that every UAEM university can use our expertise and experience to introduce these new concepts in their campuses.

Join us! Take action! 

As a New Year's resolution, you can take action and participate in one of UAEM Europe's working groups! Just pick the topic you prefer and get on board!
UAEMers around Europe

Warsaw eventUAEM Warsaw event

On the 28th and 29th November the first Regional Meeting in Eastern Europe took place in Warsaw, Poland.
 Read more
We kicked-off with a UAEM introductory workshop, when we got to know each other and clarified basic terms in the UAEM language. In the evening we listened to a Panel Debate 'WE HAVE A DRUG PROBLEM. Threats, Trends and Opportunities in Global Access to Medicines' moderated by Olga Kudela. We watched Lukas Fendel (UAEM), Marianella Kloka (Praksis Greece), Sophie Bloemen (Commons Network) and Alek Tarkowski (Digital Center Project Poland) discussing student activism, how to push for the development of new R&D models on the European level and how to use the media attention to the crisis to implement the solutions. We finished with a little reception, where local students could integrate with our 28 participants. Many of our participants came from Polish cities, but also from places as far as Turkey and Serbia. Our new chapter in Prague also sent a strong delegation.
On the second day, participants engaged in an intense and interactive rundown through UAEM's basic principles, methods and structures. We went through the basic knowledge workshop explaining the legal side of our work, an effective campaigning workshop and one dedicated to building a chapter, facilitated remotely by Phillip Jaehn. After the hard day we visited Warsaw old town and local bars, to make sure that our future chapter leaders can network and become friends before starting their official work :)
Thanks everyone for coming and we are looking forward to more future meetings that will help UAEM grow strong all over the old continent!
  Jagoda Mackowiak (UAEM intern)

IrelandUAEM tour in Ireland

From the 10th to the 12th of November UAEM organized a speaker tour in Ireland in cooperation with the Students Stop AIDS Campaign. During the tour it became very apparent that Ireland plays a key role in the access to medicines movement, both because of the strong presence of the pharmaceutical industry and its heavy financial involvement with Irish universities.
Read more The tour kicked off on Monday with an evening event at the National University of Ireland in Galway where around 20 students were introduced to the access to medicines and research for poverty-related and neglected diseases issues through a short presentation by Max Brauner of the UAEM Berlin chapter. This was followed by a roleplay on Equitable Licensing during which the participants got to experience first hand some of the issues around licensing of publicly financed research. Afterwards, Max gave a short summary of possible solutions and further steps to be taken by a possible new UAEM chapter. Of course, participants had the opportunity to discuss these topics further over a cold drink at a traditional Irish pub.
On Tuesday, Max was joined by Saoirse Fitzpatrick, coordinator of the Students Stop AIDS Campaign in London. Together they delievered two engaging presentations to a crowd of approximately 15 students that had gathered at the University of Limerick. Saoirse outlined the history of the struggle for access to HIV treatment, possible solutions and some of the effective and fun ways that students can engage in the process. Max gave some background information and explained the role of UAEM in advocating in these fields. Again, there was the chance to debate further in a more informal way after the event.
The last stop of the tour brought Saoirse and Max to University College Cork on Wednesday where they again spoke in front of 30 students.
Refreshments during the events were provided by UAEM.
These events would have never been possible without the time, dedication and talent of our new and extremely motivated Irish UAEMers, Ciara Conlan in Galway, Jemima Nilan and Martin Mroue in Limerick and Stephanie Zahradnik in Cork.
We are looking forward to more news from Ireland!
Max Brauner (UAEM Berlin / Trondheim)

Creative Activism - how to use art and creativity in our campaigns

How can we engage students or people more effectively? Is there a way we can build campaigns that is more attractive? Last week, in Barcelona, access to medicines' activists from HAI, TACD, OSF, TAC, Salud por Derecho met to attend the "School of Creative Activism". What's that...?
Read more  Irene (UAEM Madrid), along with Keaton and Merith (UAEM NA) were lucky enough to participate and enjoy a new way of being an activist.
Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe, co-founders of the Center for Creative Activism, facilitated a 4-day workshop that included: Lectures on Social Marketing, the concept of Creative Activism, mapping our goals and actions. The most challenging activity was to create an action in less than 24 hours. The group had to agree on a goal, think of possible actions, create a performance, build our setting and distribute our roles and costumes for the action.
The result was a performance called "Carnival: Your Money or your Life", a fair in front of a hospital in Barcelona, where patients, people, could play with us (Roulette of Sofosbuvir's prices, 3-card monty of the pill, Pill-fishing, etc) as a way of participating and understanding why Big Pharma (Gilead) is hindering access to sofosbuvir for Hep C patients in Spain (and other countries).
If you want more info about Creative Activism and how to implement it, you can send an email to Irene Romero.
Basel Report #4
We are back with another report from the Basel Conference in 2014. Is access to medicines a key to global health? The workshop was given by Prof Albrecht Jahn from the University of Heidelberg, a member of the WHO CEWG (Consultative Expert Working Group). If you wonder what the CEWG is doing for equitable R&D,  this is for you. The discussion covered topics such as the role of civil society, problems of a national rather than international approach, the Doha declaration, etc. Read more here(link!)!

Here is also a video recording of the workshop!
“Access to health is a human right.”
The WHO Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG) works on Research and Development (R&D). Its task is to examine the current financing and coordination of R&D, as well as to examine proposals for new and innovative sources of financing to stimulate R&D – especially on neglected tropical diseases.
The background for the establishment of the CEWG is framed by various WHO resolutions for a plan of action and financing of R&D. More and more investments to R&D are being made, without an increase of R&D output despite technological advances. Also, there is lack of transparency of effective R&D costs in the pharma industry: the prizes of drugs are not reflecting the real cost of development, and despite the well-being of the industry, public subventions are being given.
Thus, the CEWG has made the following recommendations for more sustainable R&D:
  • Equitable licensing approaches
  • Milestone  / end prizes
  • Patent pools
  • Direct grants
  • Pooled funding
  • Global WHO R&D observatory and advisory function
A contribution of 0.01% of GDP should be made by every country signed in a treaty. 20-50% of this pooled fund should go to developing countries. This treaty would also empower the WHO as a coordinator and give it a stronger political position. The WHA welcomed the idea in 2012/13, but the proposal was finally rejected for its last proposition – that of global convention – as governments lack political will.
Several topics were discussed and here we will give brief summaries of what was brought up. You can watch the whole discussion in the video recordings we’ve attached
Activism on international level (WHO) vs. activism on local level (government): International motions are dependent upon the willingness of governments. Therefore, pressure on government is needed for them to take action. This could be applied to UAEM. We should consider balancing effort and effectiveness of UAEM actions. Should we prioritise local advocacy or pressure on governments?
Economic interests interfering with humanitarian ideals, e.g.:
  • The prize of new HepC medicines is strongly economy-driven.
  • Research funding of genomics and personalised medicine is prioritised by governments.
  • Law violations may be profitable for pharma industry despite penalties.
Role of civil society: There is need for bottom-up pressure as the pharma industry is afraid of negative publicity.
Problems of a national approach: Because the pharma market is international, nations have only limited direct influence on prizes (but of course they could do more than they are doing now). Pharma has a strong lobby and its economical and political interests exert a strong influence on governments, causing a lack of political will – a lack of will of to take action about something that is clearly wrong.
Doha Declaration: The Doha Declaration on the TRIPS agreement reaffirmed the flexibility of TRIPS member states in circumventing patent rights for better access to essential medicines. In a medical emergency, e.g. a pandemic outbreak, governments are legally allowed to issue compulsory licenses for patents belonging to a pharma company (which has already been done a few times). In that case, a medical emergency is more important than patient rights.
Pharma industry is moving out of basic research: It is leaving the innovative work to universities while itself investing in spin-offs. This also means that vaccine development is privatised. Vaccine development used to be a governmental task formerly.
Some critical issues were not addressed in the discussion, such as
  • The moving scope of access to medicine. Access is an increasing problem in developed countries.
  • The expanded role of universities and publicly funded research bodies.
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