Labour MEP says future Ebola vaccine must be affordable, with open access to research.
Labour MEP Glenis Willmott, chair of the European Parliament Access to Medicines working group, today called for any Ebola vaccine to be affordable, with open access to the research.
Mrs Willmott was responding to the €280 million pledge for research into Ebola vaccines and diagnostics from The Innovative Medicines Initiative, a joint programme between the European Commission and the European pharmaceutical industry.
"We absolutely need to be investing resources into stopping this terrible virus, and I really hope the research funded by this project finds some solutions for the current crisis. My concern is whether any vaccines that are developed will be accessible to those that need them the most.
"The Innovative Medicines Initiative is a joint project between the pharmaceutical industry and the EU - half of the money is public money. So any results from this project must be used for the public good.
"Unfortunately, unlike other projects funded by the EU, there is no requirement for the results of Innovative Medicines Initiative projects to be published. There are also no rules about how affordable or accessible any medicines would have to be.
"I call on the Innovative Medicines Initiative to allow open access to results from any trials related to Ebola, and to pledge that any successful vaccines or diagnostics developed will be truly affordable. This is a humanitarian crisis with the potential to be global in scale, we must ensure that everyone can be protected from this deadly disease."
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Notes to Editors
1. The Working Group on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty-Related Diseases in the European Parliament is a cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament working to ensure coherent and comprehensive EU policies in the area of global health. The organisations Global Health Advocates and Médecins Sans Frontières' Access Campaign provide support for the secretariat of the Working Group.
More information about the Working group is available here: http://www.msfaccess.org/content/european-parliament-working-group
2. The Innovative Medicines Initiative is a public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European pharmaceutical industry. It has a €3.3 billion budget for the period 2014-2024. Half of IMI's budget comes from Horizon 2020, the EU's framework programme for research and innovation. The European pharmaceutical industry contributes €1.425 billion in-kind (non-monetary contributions such as donating researchers’ time and/or providing access to research facilities or resources).
More information about the Innovative Medicines Initiative is available here: http://www.imi.europa.eu
3. More information about the specific IMI call for proposals for Ebola is available here: http://www.imi.europa.eu/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/IMI2Call2/IMI2_EbolaCall1_Nov2014_summary.pdf