Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation

EVENT: The Power of Law. How can NGOs Promote Access to Medicines through Legal Procedures?

Lessons Learned from Past Cases

On Monday 22 November 15:00-16:30 CET (online). Register here.

Many old/new medicines are not easily accessible or are excessively priced. What laws allow drug companies to engage in these practices? What legal mechanisms can NGOs use to counter these unjust practices? 

The Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation (PAF) is drafting guidelines for NGOs for using legal procedures to counter unjust practices, like we see in Covid-19 times. 

In this webinar, we will review a number of cases from which we can learn lessons – cases in which laws have successfully been used (or not) to improve access to medicines or reduce excessive prices.

Activists or NGOs who have been involved in such cases will discuss their experiences, e.g. about compulsory licensing, the use of Human Rights and other legal procedures.

We have invited the following panelists:

  • Mark Heywood, on “How civil society got access to ARVs (antiretrovirals) during the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa”
  • Ellen ‘t Hoen (Medicines Law & Policy) on “Use of Compulsory Licenses and the role of civil society”
  • Sergey Golovin (Int Treatment Preparedness Coalition, Russia) on “The remdesivir Compulsory License in Russia”
  • Felipe Carvalho (MSF Brazil) on “Using the law to promote access to HIV/AIDS medicines and Covid-19 vaccines in Brazil”
  • Nele Meyer (Legal Advisor, Business and Human Rights, Amnesty International) on the recent Amnesty report “A Double Dose of Inequality: Pharma companies and the Covid-19 vaccines crisis” and recent EU ‘due diligence’ legislation to promote businesses’ respect for human rights.

After sharing their stories, the panelists will discuss how to implement the lessons learned in PAFs Legal Guidelines for NGOs.

Please register for the event through this form.

We will email the zoom link in the week before the webinar to the registrees. The event will be recorded for future reference.

Mark Heywood

Mark Heywood is a South African human rights and social justice activist based in Johannesburg. He studied English language and literature at Oxford University and later African literature at the University of the Witwatersrand. He was head of the AIDS Law Project (1997-2010) and Executive Director of SECTION27 (2010-2019). He also co-founded the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), the AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa (ARASA), Corruption Watch and Save South Africa. 

He has published extensively on HIV, human rights, the law and politics in both academic and popular media, including co-editing the “AIDS and the Law Resource Manual and Health & Democracy: A guide to human rights, health law and policy in post-Apartheid South Africa”. Mark has chronicled his personal journeys towards social justice in his recent book Get Up! Stand Up! (Tafelberg, 2017).

Ellen F. M. ‘t Hoen LLM PhD

Ellen ‘t Hoen (1960) is the director of Medicines Law & Policy, a group of legal and policy experts offering advice to international organizations and governments. From 1999 until 2009 she was the director of policy for Médecins sans Frontières. In 2009 she joined UNITAID in Geneva to set up the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). She was the MPP’s first executive director until 2012.

She has published widely and is the author of several books. In 2017 she received the Prix Prescrire for her book “Private Patents and Public Health: Changing intellectual property rules for public health.”. In 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011 and in 2020 she was listed as one of the 50 most influential people in intellectual property by the journal Managing Intellectual Property. In 2020, she was appointed Officer of the Order of Oranje-Nassau, a royal award given in recognition of her work on access to medicines.

She has a master’s degree in law from the University of Amsterdam and a PhD from the University of Groningen where she remains a Global Health Law Fellow at the law faculty.

Sergey Golovin

Sergey Golovin has worked in the field of healthcare and treatment access for around 10 years, specializing in monitoring availability and prices of essential medicines and linking IP issues with the treatment access agenda.

Currently, Sergey is employed as Intellectual Property and Access Lead at the Treatment Preparedness Coalition in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, supervising a variety of research and advocacy projects with a focus on ways to improve treatment access using the resources of community organizations.

Felipe de Carvalho MA

Felipe de Carvalho is a journalist, with a Master’s degree in International Political Economy at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Felipe works at MSF since 2009, with a special focus on access to medicines, diagnostics and vaccines; intellectual property law; Research and Development (R&D) principles and policies; global health and multilateral cooperation. Currently, Felipe is engaged with MSF Access Campaign efforts to ensure availability and accessibility of health tools to address the Covid-19 pandemic. Felipe is also a Civil Society representative at the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, in the treatment pillar.

Nele Meyer

Nele Meyer is Legal Advisor, Business and Human Rights, at the Amnesty International European Institutions Office in Brussels.