Essential Medicines Licensing Policy at Harvard
Millions of people in the developing world lack access to life-saving "essential" medicines due to unnecessarily prohibitive costs. As a major research institution, Harvard can negotiate licenses that require pharmaceutical companies to permit generic production of these life-saving medical technologies in order to make them more accessible. Yet there is currently no institutionalized policy that promotes this. The "Say Yes To Drugs" campaign aims to raise awareness about Harvard's opportunity to create a global access policy, motivate a policy change, and spur other universities to do the same. The value of Harvard's research should be primarily measured not by its profits but by the number of people whose lives it saves. Indeed, Harvard makes little profit from pharmaceutical sales in developing countries. We call for a policy that: * Recognizes access to medicines and health-related technologies for all as the primary purpose of development of health-related technology. * Implements a system of technology development that protects access to the final end product needed by patients (e.g., formulated pills or vaccines). * Is systematic in its approach, sufficiently transparent to verify its effectiveness, and based on explicit metrics that measure the success of technology transfer by its impact on access and continued innovation. * Supports generic provision by removing legal barriers to generic production of Harvard technologies in resource-limited countries. * Uses proactive licensing provisions to ensure that barriers such as follow-on patents and data exclusivity cannot be used to block generic production.