Biomedical Research & Development (R&D) is focusing on seeking profits rather than treating patients. Research areas that guarantee high incomes are prioritised while much needed medicines stay undeveloped. The current R&D system has proven unable to meet the health needs of people worldwide. In order to enable global access to medicines, achieve more efficient and health-centered research and build a sustainable system, the way R&D is performed has to be changed.
UAEM created an advocacy too for students, the Global Charter for the Advancement of Equitable Biomedical Research and Development. The Charter comprises 6 key principles and practices which should form the basis for an improved, equitable and just R&D system. It is based on previous work from various agencies and expert groups, including the WHO Consultive Expert Working Group on R&D (CEWG) and the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, as well as civil society and academia. The Charter aims to foster international discussion and build consensus on the key principles underlying biomedical R&D and the role of universities.
The following principles and practices should be applied within a new R&D system:
- Needs-driven: Research should meet global health needs and set priority on health areas that have been neglected so far.
- Evidence-based: Biomedical research should always build on existing knowledge and reliable studies. Innovation that offers clear therapeutic benefit over existing treatments should be incentivised.
- Openness, transparency and effectiveness: Promoting openness and transparency when it comes to sharing data, study protocols and results helps to achieve efficient and accessible innovation. Pricing policies and investment costs in R&D should be laid open and accessible for everyone.
- Affordability and equity: All products of biomedical R&D should be accessible and affordable to the public at reasonable prices.
- Delinkage: The incentive to develop new health technologies must be delinked from profit-making.
- A globally shared responsibility: All institutions and organisations involved in the R&D process should adopt these principles and practices and encourage their implementation.
Visit: equitablernd.org to learn more about the charter!
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