Universities Allied for Essential Medicines Europe (UAEM) is a non-profit, youth-led organization, currently active in 11 European countries. They are working to bring mainstream access to affordable medicines in resource-poor settings by changing norms and practices around academic medical research.
UAEM is first and foremost a student movement and its efforts are mainly focused on promoting the adoption of global access licensing policies at renowned European Universities and research institutions. UAEM strongly believes that medicines and health technologies, particularly those developed at universities or with public funding, should be made accessible and affordable to people in all countries.
During the past few years, UAEM Europe has successfully advocated for Access to Medicines at high-level policy, such as the World Health Organization and the European Parliament, always providing a student perspective on sensitive issues such as Trade, Public Health, or Big Pharma Agenda.
At the moment, a third of the world’s population lacks affordable access to essential medicines, the current Access to Medicines crisis increasingly affecting middle income European countries such as Spain, Romania or Greece. For example, public budget cuts in health coverage and the burden of the increasing co-payment results in many people being denied access to lifesaving medication in Southern, Central and Eastern European countries. The exorbitant price tags of new oncology treatments and Hepatitis C drugs are just two examples of “essential medicine turned luxury” in Europe.
Given the scandalous access to medicines inequalities and the fact that European citizens are way too often confronted with the “pay or die“ dilemma, it is time that we stood up for our human rights and demand equitable and universal Access to Medicines and Health Services.
In light of the above-mentioned issue, UAEM Europe is organizing a European Youth Essay Competition with the purpose of raising awareness about the Access to Medicines crisis in Europe. The competition hopes to inform and involve young European residents and ultimately engage them in the reform of our broken Research & Development System.
Young people are therefore invited to express their thoughts and ideas, reflecting on the following question: Why is Access to Medicines a pressing European issue today? What role should universities play in solving the global medical access and innovation crisis?
Participants should be below the age of 30 and current residents of a European country (this is not restricted to EU member States, but includes all of Europe; Russia and Turkey are also eligible countries). Student status or previous experience in the field of Medicine is not required. Potential applicants need not to prove expert knowledge on Access to Medicines issues, but a genuine interest in Health and Human Rights. Young people with a background in Political Science, Law, Journalism, Social Sciences, or other similar interconnected disciplines are very welcomed to apply. The essays don’t need to be written in academic style. Originality and sustainability of ideas are very much appreciated.
The essay competition targets young people with different levels of knowledge and experience concerning Access to Medicines, from absolute beginners to already active members of UAEM Europe local chapters.
Winners will have the chance to present their essays at UAEM’s next European Conference in London in April 2015. All participants will receive certificates of participation and the chance to join the UAEM movement and get involved in the fight for a better future, where access to medicines is not conditioned by nationality, social status or income.
Find out more about the competition here: https://uaemeuropeessaycompetition.wordpress.com/