University Report Card 2.0: Global Equity and Biomedical Research


Co-authored with Merith Basey (Executive Director, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines), Warren Kaplan (Clinical Assistant Professor, Global Health Center for Global Health & Development,Boston University School of Public Health)

This year at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference, Atul Gawande, surgeon, writer and public health researcher, made the following statement during his opening remarks:

“There are more than 60,000 known ways the bodies’ 13 organ systems can go wrong with over 4000 medical procedures and 6000 medicines found in the last 100 years to treat and prevent those failures. What is Global Health? It is taking this knowledge gained and distributing it to people all over the world.”

Universities are positioned as institutions devoted to the research and discovery of innovations for the benefit of the public that supports them. Many are nonprofit, public-interest institutions heavily funded by government grants and taxpayer-funded sources. As the new generation of global health leaders, today’s students and medical researchers have the ability to support as well as pressure these institutions to fulfill their commitment to the 8 billion plus inhabitants of this world.

Far too often many medicines are made available only to those who can afford them, regardless of need or the benefit they were created to provide. The tragic result is that millions of people, mostly in the developing world, die each year simply because they don’t have access to medicines that already exist.

On Tuesday, April 21st 2015, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines launched their second University Report Card to hold leading global health institutions accountable to their commitments, but also to present where gaps might lie in the areas of Global Access to new innovations, Innovation and research into neglected diseases and Empowerment of the next generation of global health professionals.

This year also showed an unprecedented —> Read More