The month of November has been filled with activity for Salud por Derecho. Here is a brief overview of the conferences we have participated in during the past few weeks.
From November 7th â 8th, we took part in an international conference jointly organized by ISGlobal and the Open Society Foundations entitled Building a Global Health Social Contract for the 21st Century. The focus of the two day seminar was to discuss the importance and feasibility of a global health social contract that includes a system to deliver relevant, affordable and accessible health technologies in a sustainable manner and a global social health protection framework with the minimum basic conditions necessary to ensure universal coverage. The Director of Salud por Derecho, Vanessa LÃ³pez, participated in a panel on the âChallenge of Governanceâ moderated by Marine BuissonniÃ¨re from OSF, along with experts including David Evans from the WHO, Ellen ât Hoen, a Consultant on Medicines Law & Policy, and William H. Wiist from the Interdisciplinary Health Policy Institute at Northern Arizona University.
On November 11th, we participated in the official launch of the European Unionâs Research Framework Programme in Madrid, an event entitled âHorizon 2020: From Knowledge to Innovationâ, organized by CDTI and the Ministry of Finance and Competitiveness. Â The focus of the event was to present the opportunities for funding available to the Spanish scientific community. The new program will manage more than 70.000 million Euros for the next seven years and we will follow how this public investment impacts global health needs and ensures access to medicines.
Finally, we also travelled to Brussels this month to participate in the 6th European Public Health Conference. Of particular interest, and related to our work through the Catalytic Project, was a session on access to medical innovation in times of austerity, which highlighted the main failures of the current biomedical innovation system, a model based on profit maximizing rather than the essential health needs of people. Key issues such as the lack of transparency at all levels, including open access to the results of clinical trials or to the true costs of R&D, were highlighted as some of the main barriers that prevent the current model from responding to public interests. The situation in Greece and Spain related to the limiting of access to health care was very well covered in the workshop on âAusterity, social exclusion, and health in Europeâ, where Yo SÃ Sanidad Universal spoke about the almost 900,000 people without a healthcare card in Spain and their work committed to confronting this reality.
PictureÂ copyright: ISGlobal/Gloria Solsona