Building bridges between the open digital knowledge and access to medicines movements
At this meetup, hosted by the UAEM and the Commons Network, we will reflect on synergies between the open knowledge and access to medicines movements. We will discuss open knowledge in the light of biomedical R&D and ongoing debates around global access to affordable medicines.
There are many over laps between the struggle for Access to Medicines and the digital rights or open knowledge movement. Transparency on clinical trials, non-exclusive licensing and the sharing of medical research data for example all follow a similar agenda. The sharing of knowledge is key to making medicines affordable and speeding up the R&D process. Examples of this fight on different policy levels are plenty: R&D Policy at the EU level; global norms on knowledge sharing in biomedical R&D –a possible WHO Treaty; universities getting licensing right; trade agreements racketing up intellectual property protection.
In the biomedical field, employing the technical concept of open knowledge might not be sufficient to foster the common good though. More conditions apply for making medicines equitably accessible and arriving at a socio-economically sustainable model. How can open knowledge save lives? Issues we will touch upon are:
o What can access to medicines advocates learn from the great success of the open knowledge movement in terms of reaching a broad public?
o Is the availability of culture, internet access, or government data even comparable to health in terms of urgency?
o How can we ensure that open knowledge is used in function of the common good or public interest, rather than corporate whitewashing, in areas such as biomedical R&D?
o How is that perceived for other realms of knowledge?
o What are the current opportunities for pan-movement action, and how should we frame our joint messaging to strike synergies?
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