Berkman Center & Harvard GHI Host Conference on Access to Medicines & Innovation

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On June 13th, the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society will bring together more than sixty leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, foundations, civil society, academia, and government for a conference to develop actionable solutions for increasing access to medicines and promoting innovation to help the world’s poor.

Despite recent advances in medicine, poor communities around the world continue to suffer disproportionately from communicable diseases. In addition to other public health challenges, drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines are often unavailable, or are sold at prices that are out of reach for the world’s poorest people. The discussions will highlight best practices that can be scaled up or replicated in sustainable ways that will improve life outcomes for the poor and encourage innovation.

Under discussion will be preliminary recommendations developed by Global Access in Action (GAIA), an initiative of the Berkman Center that seeks to develop pragmatic solutions to improve access to medicines and promote innovation. GAIA’s draft recommendations highlight intra-country differential pricing, humanitarian licensing, and improved research collaboration as strategies worthy of consideration for scale-up and replication. At the conference, participants will discuss their experimentation with these strategies, exploring the circumstances under which they could be adopted more broadly.