Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More on the student movement for access to medicines

Sandeep P. Kishore and Prabhjot S. Dhadialla, Student-Led Campaign to Help Tackle Neglected Tropical Diseases, PLoS Medicine, July 24, 2007.  (Thanks to Gavin Baker.)  Excerpt:

The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of chronic infections that are often considered together because they primarily affect one billion of the world's poorest people and attract little attention from the global medical community....

Universities are uniquely positioned to provide biomedical and clinical expertise, and they boast core missions that seek to promote the public welfare. The university motto of the Rockefeller University, for instance, is: “pro bono humani generis,” or “science for the benefit of humanity”. In this article, we propose that innovative student-led campaigns to address NTDs can and do make a practical difference. We discuss these efforts at our universities.

In coming to medical school, several of us had like-minded interests in global health and were committed to making a practical difference. We formed a small caucus of medical and graduate students at the Weill Cornell Medical College, Rockefeller University, and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute Tri-Institutional (Tri-I) campus in New York to explore the issue. We partnered with a growing student-led movement across universities, called Universities Allied for Essential Medicines. This movement recently [November 2006] catalyzed the creation of the Philadelphia Consensus Statement to promote equal access to university discoveries in the developing world and to promote university research on global health concerns. We brought the movement to our local campuses to find how our homegrown resources could be best leveraged....

University students are by no means passive players in the efforts to increase biomedical attention to the developing world....

PS:  For more background, see my 11/18/06 post on the Philadelphia Consensus Statement.