Many important medicines are developed in academic laboratories. Their accessibility in poor nations is affected by the research, patenting and licensing decisions made by universities. We are a group of students who believe that universities have an opportunity and a responsibility to improve global access to public health goods. QUAEM aims to (1) promote access to medicines and medical innovations in low- and middle- income countries by changing norms and practices around academic patenting and licensing, (2) ensure that university medical research meets the needs of people worldwide and (3) empower students to respond to the access and innovation crisis.

Every year, 10 million people die unnecessarily because they lack access to existing medical treatments; high prices and legal barriers are often contributing factors. A further billion people are infected with one or more so-called neglected diseases, for which safe and effective treatments have not been developed because the patients are too poor to provide economic incentive. In both cases, universities are well-placed to make a difference. University scientists are major contributors to the drug development pipeline. At the same time, universities are committed to advancing the public good. With this in mind, QUAEM, an interdisciplinary group of university students, aims to enhance the global health impact of our schools’ biomedical research. We advocate for universities to ensure that biomedical end products, such as drugs, developed in campus labs are affordable and accessible in poor countries and we work to reduce or eliminate barriers to research on neglected diseases.

We advocate for responsible drug development and equitable access to pharmaceuticals for all people regardless of their background. We primarily hold educational events like speaker panels on contemporary topics such as universal pharmacare and the opioid crisis to raise awareness about these issues and foster discussion.

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Alma Mater Society of Queen's University

Queen’s University sits on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee & Anishinaabe peoples.
L’Université Queen’s est située sur les terres traditionnelles des peuples Haudenosaunee et Anishinaabe.
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