Research into new medicines must serve public heath priorities - not big-pharma profits

GUE/NGL MEP Lola Sánchez Caldentey has spoken in a European Parliament debate this afternoon on the Ebola crisis and the flaws in the global biomedical research model.

The Spanish MEP said: “Ebola clearly illustrates how patents and licenses prevent people from getting access to medicines. Ebola essentially got out of control because it was not profitable to research and develop medicines to treat it.

“The current biomedical research model enriches a minority and is detrimental to global health – the logic of this model is that those with the money can get the medicine and those without are effectively left for dead.

“Patents mean that we don't develop the necessary medication for Ebola. Research into new medicine is not oriented by public health needs, but rather by profit and the interests of big-pharma. We need to research things that are beneficial to all society. The EU should show leadership in promoting new forms of biomedical research.”

She concluded: “We are talking about lives here – whose side is the Commission on?”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group