Regions across the world need access to the latest medical advances

Commitment eases access to medical advances in developing world

The University of Exeter has strengthened its commitment to encouraging access to medicine in low income and developing countries by adopting a new approach to health-related intellectual property on products and technologies deriving from its research.

The change aims to make it as easy as possible for those in need to access medicine advances linked to the University. Working with its partners and commercial licensees in the sector, the University will, wherever possible:

-       only apply for and implement patent applications relating to healthcare technologies in less developed countries where necessary (if, for example, without a patent incentive, the product could not be commercialised or globally licensed);

-       negotiate and grant licences and agreements which seek to promote the availability of essential medicines and vaccines at affordable prices to patients in low income and developing countries.

Professor Nick Talbot, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: “This approach to global dissemination of essential medicines is a further indicator of the way in which Exeter is striving to achieve its commitment to making a positive, distinctive and measurable impact on society, from the South West to right across the globe. It demonstrates our commitment to the adoption of new ideas and best practices as thinking in this area develops worldwide.”  

The change came about after a policy proposal from Chris Redd, a University of Exeter Medical School student and founding member of the University of Exeter Students’ Guild chapter of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM). The student organisation seeks to improve access to medicines in lower-income countries and to increase research and development of drugs for neglected tropical diseases.

Chris, 21, said: “We are delighted that the University of Exeter has agreed to sign up to this agreement, which is the first step in making sure that cutting-edge research can have a meaningful impact in areas where it is most desperately needed. The calibre of research at Exeter is world-class, and largely publicly funded, so it is vital that the University commits to sharing the fruits of research across the globe.”

Map image via Shutterstock.

Date: 22 August 2014

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