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  • Physicians and Scientists-in-Training Push for Access in TPP Negotiations

    According to recently leaked text of the Intellectual Property Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the United States and other governments are prioritizing multinational corporate profits over patients and consumers around the world including their own citizens. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Australian Medical Student Association, International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), IFMSA-Quebec, Student Global AIDS Campaign (SGAC), and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) today sent a letter to TPP negotiators urging them to ensure that all TPP provisions provide future patients access to evidence-based and effective medicines and procedures rather than forcing us, as practitioners, to compromise our medical professionalism and the quality of care we are able to provide our patients.

    On November 13, 2013, WikiLeaks released the entire consolidated negotiating text for the Intellectual Property (IP) Chapter of the TPP. These organizations, representing pharmacists, biomedical researchers, and physicians-in-training from countries participating in TPP negotiations, expressed their concerns regarding the chapter text stating “the proposed provisions will severely restrict access to affordable medicines, access to knowledge, and access to responsible innovation.”

    This week, TPP negotiators are meeting in Salt Lake City to further negotiate the Intellectual Property Chapter provisions. The organizational letter calls for the ...

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  • AMSA Testifies On TTIP Negotiations

    Yesterday, AMSA National President Dr. Nida Degesys testified in front of the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

    Below are some of her comments that were submitted on behalf of the organization regarding the Administration’s intention to enter into negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement.

    As physicians-in-training, we believe that trade agreements should promote public health and access to medicines. For this reason, we urge the exclusion of any and all intellectual property provisions as well as any tobacco and alcohol provisions in the TTIP. Finally, we demand full transparency in the negotiations.

    First, during our medical training, we witness firsthand how access to affordable medications is critical in preventing unnecessary deaths due to both infectious and non-communicable diseases. Unfortunately, it appears that recent free trade agreements (FTAs) including the Australia-United States FTA and Korea-United States FTA as well as the current Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations compromise this access by imposing unprecedented TRIPS-plus IP provisions. These provisions have the potential to jeopardize millions of lives in participating countries by granting monopoly protections to pharmaceutical companies, which significantly drive up the costs of medicines. Even in the United States, there has been an outcry from ...

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  • Let's Go NCDFREE!

    Launched by the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network and Australian design firm Local Peoples, NCDFREE (, is a global social movement that will address NCD (non-communicable disease) inequalities and highlight young change-makers striving to make a difference locally and worldwide.

    NCDs, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and lung disease, kill more people than any other cause worldwide – 35 million every year. Instead of blaming individuals and painting NCDs as a disease affecting older, wealthier people, NCDFREE will change the narrative to one that shows the NCD burden resting largely in developing countries and affecting individuals in the prime of their lives.

    The first step in defining the NCD narrative is through three short films. These films will highlight the global inequities wrapped up with NCDs by profiling the inspiring work of young change-makers in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Mongolia.

    For a glimpse of the type of films that will follow, check out our short film:

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  • Landmark Ruling on Generic Drugs

    Today, India's Supreme Court rejected an application from Novartis AG for a patent on a cancer drug. This is a landmark ruling that will ensure that poor patients worldwide will have access to lifesaving medications.

    Novartis' application asked for a new patent to protect its investment in the cancer drug Glivec. India has a large generic drug industry - almost $26 billion - so this decision impacts much of the developing world.

    AMSA continues to pressure pharmaceutical companies to provide affordable medicines to developing countries and lobbies to ensure that international trade regulations afford the right to do so.

    Read more from the New York Times.

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  • Medicines Patent Pool Signs Agreement with ViiV for Expansion of Access to Pediatric AIDS Drugs

    AMSA welcomes the recent announcement of a collaboration between the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and ViiV to improve access to pediatric HIV medicines and stimulate creation of new pediatric formulations, including a license for the pediatric formulation of a crucial antiretroviral, abacavir, which will greatly expand access for at least 98.7 percent of children living with HIV.

    The Memorandum of Understanding signed by both parties greatly improves upon the previous licenses negotiated by the MPP and is the most far-reaching agreement yet between the MPP and a pharmaceutical company. In particular, AMSA would like to congratulate the MPP on specific provisions in the agreement: an expanded geographic scope of 118 countries as well as any country without a blocking patent for the abacavir sub-licenses as well as any pipeline product for pediatric use, a royalty-free and non-exclusive abacavir license, the ability to manufacture anywhere in the world, lack of restrictions on the procurement of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and finished product in the licensed territory, and a commitment to work with third-parties to develop fixed-dose combinations.

    “While we applaud ViiV’s efforts in working with the Medicines Patent Pool to increase access to these life-saving medicines, we hope that continued ...

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