Tell the government to vote against #HighDrugPrices at World Health Assembly this week

The government are putting the profiteering interests of Big Pharma ahead of the interests of the public. This has to stop.

This week in Geneva, governments are voting on a resolution which could help make drugs more affordable around the world.

But the UK government is trying to undermine the resolution at this week’s World Health Assembly. It is even pushing for all references to “high prices” to be taken out. This is an outrage. Please help to expose it.

High prices are a big reason why people are not getting the essential medicines they need, in the UK and around the world. Denying that high prices exist is not an option. The UK government should be backing, not blocking, this global effort to make medicines more affordable.

Please ask health secretary, Matthew Hancock, and international development secretary, Rory Stewart why the UK government is in denial about this global problem.

Can you tweet them some recent headlines about #HighDrugPrices?

Tweet the health and international development secretaries

If you don’t use Twitter, can you email Matt Hancock and Rory Stewart instead?

There is a global crisis of high medicine prices

We’re seeing it in the news more and more, with patients unable to access vital drugs like Orkambi, which could be lifesaving for people with cystic fibrosis. And this is even more serious for people in the global south.

High drug prices also impact on the NHS which is already rationing and rejecting effective new drugs because they are too expensive.

The government likes to blame US for costing the NHS too much – we’re an aging population with complex needs! Propaganda! Inflation in the cost of medical drugs and technology is a big cause of rising NHS spending.

This week’s resolution on drug pricing transparency is supported by Italy, Malaysia and South Africa, along with seven other countries.

The aim is to remove much of the corporate secrecy over drug prices, research and development costs, and public contributions to drug development. Having this information would radically improve the
negotiating position of governments in price negotiations with big pharmaceutical companies. This is vital for a health system that works for all, not just corporations.

But rich countries, including the UK, are piling in and making changes to the wording of the resolution to water it down and make it voluntary. They are putting the profiteering interests of Big Pharma ahead of the interests of the public.

Not surprising really when the government sees Life Sciences as key to economic growth and UK exports after Brexit – instead of as a public interest industry that should put people before profits.

Can you tweet Matthew Hancock and Rory Stewart now to expose the UK’s outrageous attempts to pretend #HighDrugPrices are not a problem?

Exposing this latest UK government capitulation to the pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying is part of the People’s Prescription campaign. The campaign is pushing the issue of drug pricing up the political agenda, and promoting proposals for overhauling our current corporate-controlled system of drug research and development that can make a real difference to millions of people around the world.

From Heidi Chow and James Cole Campaigners at Global Justice Now and STOPAIDS

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