An estimated ten million people-most of them in developing countries-die needlessly every year because they do not have access to existing medicines and vaccines. Countless others suffer from neglected tropical diseases, such as sleeping sickness, lymphatic filariasis, and blinding trachoma, for which there are still too few safe or effective medicines.
Clearly, the current market-based model of drug development and distribution is failing.
This failure is made clear when:
- pharmaceutical companies put profits before patients by funding research to develop "me-too" drugs for treatment of first-world diseases, instead of truly innovative drugs or treatments for neglected diseases
- physicians accept gifts or payments from the pharmaceutical industry, resulting in conflicts of interest, biased research, and compromised medical education
- policies and practices of the United States government limit access to affordable medications, here and abroad
AMSA aims to continue the tradition of medical student advocacy and activism on the issues around access to medicines by:
- Educating medical students about access to medicines
- Connecting the market-driven practices of pharmaceutical companies to both domestic issues (conflicts of interest, marketing) and global issues (access to medicines, neglected disease research)
- Connecting medical students to resources on access to medicines in a user-friendly, up-to-date fashion
- Empowering medical students to take action on access to medicines issues
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