Pharma

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The race for a coronavirus vaccine proves big pharma isn't fit for purpose


18 March 2020

As the spread of coronavirus continues unabated, the response of the pharmaceutical industry is being thrust into the spotlight. For years, major public health crises have exposed the fundamental conflict between profit and public health in our pharmaceutical system.

Don’t be fooled by the government’s pledge to keep the NHS out of a Trump trade deal, these are just empty words

The government published its long-awaited negotiating objectives for a US-UK trade deal this week which included categorical statements that the NHS and drug prices are not on the table. But this does not represent a victory for all who want to protect our NHS.

How Trump wants to force the NHS to pay more for medicines


02 December 2019

Boris Johnson’s government has been adamant that drug pricing is not on the table for a trade deal with Trump. But the leaked trade papers of their secret meetings with the US exposed that this is simply not true.

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Reacting to the UK government's announcement of additional funding for coronavirus vaccine research (1), Heidi Chow, pharmaceuticals campaigner at Global Justice Now said: "Funding for research into a coronavirus vaccine is vitally important, but the government must apply public interest conditions to this funding to prevent pharmaceutical companies from charging high prices which would restrict widespread access. This is even more the case if aid money is being used to pay for it."

After a four-year long fight campaigners and patient activists welcome the news this morning that the cystic fibrosis drugs, Orkambi and Symkevi will be made available under the NHS to patients in England. But this protracted price negotiation between the government and Orkambi manufacturer Vertex proves that a system that prioritises private profits over patients needs fundamental change.

 

Global Justice Now's reaction to the Queen’s Speech.

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A Covid-19 vaccine should be affordable for all

March 2020

As coronavirus rips through the world, the race is on to find a vaccine for Covid-19. There are already reports of promising candidates as well the start of human trials. And this progress is largely thanks to public investment in biomedical research and development (R&D). But there is a real danger that, without effective safeguards, big pharmaceutical firms could profiteer from price gouging which would prevent widespread access to coronavirus treatments and threaten the world’s ability to stop the spread of this pandemic.

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Pharma Trade Secrets: The truth about a trade deal with Trump

November 2019

The prices that our NHS will pay as a result of a US trade deal is under threat. Our chronically underfunded NHS is already struggling to afford spiraling medicine prices. Pharmaceutical companies are charging such high prices that the NHS is increasingly having to reject or ration new, effective medicines because they are unaffordable. And yet, the US pharmaceutical industry is lobbying hard to ensure a US-UK trade deal strengthens the rules that keep prices high as well as to attack the regulations that control prices.