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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Dear UAEMers all over Europe! 
We are please to share with you our latest issue. Please take some time to read carefully the "European projects update" section, as there are some activities going on that might interest you! As always, feel free to send us some content for the next edition. We are pleased also to announce that a new member has joined the Newsletter team: Yuri, from UCL
Enjoy reading!
Andia, Chris, Irene, Josephine and Yuri.
Table of contents:
European projects update
Empowerment Working Group 

We hope you are all enjoying your holidays. At the Empowerment Working Group, we never stop working, and stay inside on our laptops all summer long. That’s good news for you though, because it means we’ve come up with more exciting outreach opportunities. Yes, that’s right, UAEM will pay to fly you around Europe to spread the word about UAEM. Here’s what we’ve got coming up:

  • Porto, Portugal, 3-6th August - Conference of the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation.
  • Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 9-13th September - Conference of the European Medical Students Associations.
  • Dublin, Ireland, 7th November - International Conference of Healthcare and Medical Students.

We know it can be a little daunting if this is your first time, so we will give you as much support as we can. To apply, please send an application to Information on what we expect from you is here, and a guide on what to do while you are there can be found here.

As always, we are looking for new members to join our group and keep powering the movement forward. To get in touch about joining, or to ask any questions about this announcement, please e-mail or
Introducing A2M Week
UAEM Europe's Biggest Collective Campaign Ever!

As you hopefully know, Access to Medicines week, or A2M week for short, is coming closer and closer. During one week, November 1st-7th, chapters across Europe will raise awareness on A2M by organising movie showings and panel discussions, poster campaigns and much more. Even our North American Friends are on board, so A2M week has officially gone global. The idea is to have a week during which thousands of students across the world will raise awareness on issues involving access to medicines. Simply by being a member of the UAEM family, you’re involved already.

We want you to share everything you do during A2Mweek via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and online (website in the making). So start using #A2M early to get the movement going. We’ll be launching a little Photo campaign so you can get really creative (and sexy). And there are other surprises in store as well.


Coming September an A2M team of UAEMers are meeting in Berlin to get lots of work done, this is where you come in. We want to know what your vision is for A2M week.

It would be great if we could find a common cause to work on to show the force UAEM has become. Any ideas? We’re thinking of starting a campaign or a petition aimed at the TTIP but we are open to absolutely any suggestion.

Think about it. Is there an important local issue in your country that could use international support? Is there a pressing topic you feel needs more attention?

This is your chance to get students across the world involved, it’s time for us to make noise together for that number one most pressing issue affecting global access to  medicines.

“Thousands of students across the world got together to raise awareness on ….. “ Help us fill in the blank.

All ideas are welcome. All inputs are welcome. This is your week, so get involved.

Make sure your local chapter has events going during that week. Don’t hesitate to contact us if your chapter isn’t involved yet or if you have any questions and inputs.


You can email us over


Damn motivated hugs to you all

Your A2M week busy bees

News from our chapters
UAEM Exeter Tells Us About Their Success!
UAEM Exeter finished the year in a flurry of exciting news. We heard that the university would adopt an ethical licensing pledge, we got our committee in place for next year, and we were thrilled to have been given an honorable mention in the Guild Awards for Best Campaign. It was quite a surprise to be invited to the Guild Awards, let alone to win an award. As such, the evening was all a bit surreal as it was a world away from the work done on the campaign, sitting in front of computer screens, emailing university staff and reading lengthy policy documents. This award really gave us a sense of achievement, particularly as it coincided with the first landmark on our campaign to change the university of Exeter's licensing policy into truly socially responsible guidelines.

It was also useful to be acknowledged by our university. We are not a large chapter, with about six regular members, and we were competing against societies with hundreds of members. We feel this is representative of UAEM as a whole; a small, focused team working tirelessly to achieve their aims with an attitude of never giving up.

For those of you looking for tips, we have put some of our experiences below, which we hope are non-obvious, but still have industrial application:

1. Do what works. Our campaign has succeeded without a popular uprising, almost no one knew about it while it was happening, although we are building a profile. We worked behind the scenes, strategically targeting important individuals, and then chasing them with emails and meetings.

2. Get to know your TTO. When Chris Redd started the chapter, one of the first things he did was to organise a meeting with the TTO. Initially, you should use this opportunity to build rapport, and gather crucial bits of information that you can't find on-line. Specific demands can come later. 

3. Find some other stuff to do. Our campaign was small, and slow, so it was sometimes really hard to maintain momentum and excitement in our group. The fact is though, that this sort of campaign doesn't always lend itself to group participation. To keep things going, and to make the most out of your chapters, encourage other projects. This could be something specific to your university (we began investigating our curriculum) or something more general (how about the UAEM Projects?).

4. Love each other. One thing we tried to foster the group relationship was to have 'Friendship Meetings'. Every month, we (tried to) meet up for drinks to get to know each other, and discuss changing the world in an informal way.

Global Health Next Generation Network Conference - Barcelona, 26-27 June
Almost 60 participants from all over Europe came to Barcelona to meet other Global Health Next Generation Network members and set the goals of the network for the next few months. GHNGN was founded in February 2014, when a bunch of Masters of Global Health students spending a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Barceloneta beach decided that young global health enthusiasts should have a network connecting them.

GHNGN's aim is to improve global health education programs - a lot of advocacy work is needed at universities! - and connect graduates with institutions and organisations to get started in the global health arena. The network will also allow young professionals to stay in touch with other people with the same interests in global health. 

UAEM Madrid facilitated a 2-session workshop: (1) Defining global health challenges and potential solutions, (2) Strengthening the network structure: team-building, task-sharing, etc. 

The workshop outline was prepared by myself and the conference OC. We did not use powerpoint; it was an interactive discussion about our concerns in global health, our ideas to address these challenges, and how we could, as a network, ensure that our efforts are sustainable and effective. When you think about it, UAEM is indeed sort of a network organisation, thanks to our multiple nationalities and different backgrounds (law, medicine, pharmacy, political sciences, ...), so we already have some experience and tools to get started! This workshop also got us into thinking about transdisciplinarity and how to use it as a tool in global health. 

This conference was a great opportunity to meet new people with common concerns. I made new contacts with really inspiring and active people, and hopefully this will be the seed for a new generation of young people working and participating in global health issues. The 
Barcelona OC team made me feel welcome and very comfortable, and it was an exciting experience to organise a workshop with them.

The GHNGN is open to new members; you can join online at any time, simply via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Irene Romero (UAEM Madrid)
UAEM is involved in other projects!
A report from the UNPO Workshop on Human Rights Advocacy

Everybody has a right to essential medicines. At least, that is what we advocate ... But what exactly is a human right?

At the end of June, a three-day course organised by UNPO took place in the political capital of the Netherlands, The Hague. UNPO stands for Unrepresented Nations and People Organisation, which – as its name implicates – advocates for people who are not in the position to come up for their own rights. The participants had different backgrounds but were mainly students of law, European studies and international relations. The aim of the course was to develop a mutual understanding of Human Rights, to create a working knowledge of advocacy and to provide a network with peers.

The course consisted of several presentations and workshops related to these topics. For example, one presentation was on communication: how do you actually bring your message to the public and reach the people you are aiming for? Another workshop on lobbying gave insights into the structure of the EU and explained how to advocate for your message, taking into account different parties attending such negotiations.

From a UAEM perspective, the course was really interesting, and provided some useful glimpses of what human rights are and how to advocate for them. One speaker told us that interpersonal communication is the single most effective method of communicating. How can UAEM adapt this to our campaigns?
Another workshop explained the process of submitting an alternative report (on a member state) to the UN Human Rights Council; is this something UAEM could pursue?

A presentation on Human Rights' mechanisms gave more legal background on what a human right exactly is, and how they can be used to advocate. Before claiming something  to be a human right you have to be sure it actually is a human right. In legal terms, this can only be something that is contained in a treaty. Once you have found your right, you need to establish whether it has teeth. To do this, you must ask two questions: Has the state signed it? Has the state ratified it? Unfortunately, if a state has not signed something, they cannot be held accountable. Similarly, only when the state has ratified (made into national legislation) the agreement can they be prosecuted for failing these obligations. Clearly, this is something we as UAEMers need to get to grips with as we continue to advocate for Human Rights. 

Our session on negotiations demonstrated that advocates will be more successful if they have a good idea of what the other groups involved need to do to make their visit a success. When lobbying for UAEM interests, be aware of the different parties involved and their interests. Before important meetings, your chapter should get together beforehand to predict the demands and compromises of the other party (e.g. the TTO). 

If you are interested in the content of the presentations, I would be happy to send you the powerpoint presentations. My e-mail is .

UAEM Submission to the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights:
Public consultation on the impact of IP regimes on the enjoyment of right to science and culture
The UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights Farida Shaheed has decided to devote her next and last thematic report to the Human Rights Council (March 2015) to the issue of the impact of intellectual property regimes on the enjoyment of right to science and culture[1]. To inform the report and the work she and her secretariat are doing, she opened for submissions and contributions from actors such as member states, NGOs and experts.
UAEM, through cooperation of members of UAEM Europe and North America, worked on a submission
in May and June; the submission has been sent to the secretariat and will be posted online.

UAEM was also present at the open consultation at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on June 6th, where the Special Rapporteur hosted a session to engage actors in debates and exchange of views. About 70 member states and representatives from civil society attended the consultation, at which several countries such as Egypt and Algeria stressed how IP regimes limit access to medicines. Only a few actors from civil society attended the consultation and UAEM was the only civil society organisation that made a statement[3] – which is why we got positive comments from both delegations and the organisers.

In both our written submission and oral intervention, we highlighted the devastating impact of IP regimes on health, especially in worse-off populations. Based on the definition of human rights as rights inherent to all human beings, human rights – in particular the human right to health – should be given priority over IP.
Our argument focused on factors relating to access to scientific knowledge underlying medical advances (monopolies and trade agreements as barriers, open knowledge innovation as a solution) and medicines developed from this knowledge. The current IP systems give strong protection to the inventor and IP protection often wins out over everyone’s right to enjoy the benefits of science.

Another key message was the responsibility of member states and UN bodies to move from recognising economic, social and cultural rights, to making legislation and systems that support the fulfilment of these rights. In the discussion, several actors discussed how IP regimes limit access to new products, but some also remarked that copyright could be important to protect the rights of authors and creators (as IP legislation and restrictions go beyond health). 
[1] The Special Rapporteur's focus is on article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She is intending to address in the Special Report for 2015 the impact of intellectual property regimes on:
the right of people to enjoy and access cultural heritage; access by everyone without discrimination to the benefits of science and its applications, i.e. scientific knowledge, technology, and opportunities to contribute to the scientific enterprise; the freedom indispensable to scientific research, including access of researchers to scientific information and advances, as well as collaborative work; artistic freedoms and the right of people to access, contribute to and enjoy the arts; and the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
[3] See attached oral intervention
Upcoming events
Be a UAEM representative in one of these conferences! (Hurry up, contact the Empowerment WG if you want to participate!)
  • Porto (Portugal), 3-6th August: Conference of the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation.
  • Plovdiv (Bulgaria), 9-13th September: Conference of the European Medical Students Associations.
  • Dublin (Ireland), 7th November: International Conference on Healthcare and Medical Students.
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