From June 27-29, 2018, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program co-hosted the Affordable Medicines Now Conference with the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown Law. This first of its kind conference showcased more than 50 speakers from different areas in the affordable medicines community including activists, patients, medical professionals, and elected officials.
Couldn’t attend but want to learn more? Many of our panels and political speakers’ addresses were filmed and are now linked below with their descriptions. Names and speaker lists for all panels and sessions on video listed below:
Day one started with an opening statement by Justin Mendoza (Public Citizen), Matt Kavanagh (O’Neill Institute) and a heartbreaking story shared by Elizabeth Rowley (T1International).
Workshops kicked off with a visioning exercise led by speakers from HealthGAP and the Treatment Action Group. This exercise helped attendees meet and learn about each other’s health care goals for both the near and distant future. Panels throughout day one covered a wide range of topics but converged on the theme that the commonalities and differences of the wide range of groups present make the affordable medicines movement stronger.
- Opening Statements: Justin Mendoza, Matt Kavanagh and Elizabeth Rowley
- Building Power in Health Care Movements. A look at past successes in the health care fight and how that momentum can carry on and fuel the affordable medicines fight.
Moderator: Jennifer Flynn Walker (Center for Popular Democracy)
Panelists: Laura Packard (Health Care Voter), Gregg Gonsalves (Yale School of Public Health), and Brendan Kelly (Alliance for Retired Americans).
- Address by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) at Affordable Medicines Now
- Power to the People: How we Use Intersectionality and Inclusion to Create Strong Movements. Discussing the gaps between mainstream activism and marginalized groups while highlighting the value of unheard voices in the health care conversation.
Moderator: Sernah Essian (Universities Allied for Essential Medicines)
Panelists: Ola Ojewumi (Project ASCEND), Reginald Brown (VOCAL-NY), Jane Dimnwaobi (GlobalGiving).
- Address by U.S. Rep. Rohit Khanna (D-Calif) at Affordable Medicines Now
- Address by U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) at Affordable Medicines Now
- Universal Health Care and Affordable Medicines. Answering the question of why universal health care advocates and how these movements can and do work together.
Moderator: Rachel DeGolia (Universal Health Care Action Network)
Panelists: Alex Lawson (Social Security Works), Colin Baillio (Health Action New Mexico), Eagan Kemp (Public Citizen), and Mark Dudzic (Labor Campaign for Single Payer).
Day two focused on the different perspectives and campaigns that the fight for affordable medication has taken activists. The day was kicked off by a rousing address by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tina Smith (D-MN) who highlighted how the call for lower drug prices is being heard on Capitol Hill.
Attendees were brought together on the federal, state and grassroots levels to discuss how they have dealt with opposition. Heather Booth led a strategy session to help turn attendees visions into a rough plan on how to build campaigns that can win moving forward. The day concluded with sessions on disease-specific advocacy and workshops on tactics. Finally, attendees closed with a reception hosted by the Teamsters.
- Address by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) at Affordable Medicines Now.
- Address by U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) at Affordable Medicines Now.
- Perspectives on the Movement for Affordable Medicines. Exploring intersections and commonalities in the strategies deployed in the access to medicines fight, through a panel with diverse backgrounds and relationships to the issue of affordable medicines.
Moderator: Peter Maybarduk (Public Citizen)
Panelists: Laura Marston (Patient Advocate for Insulin), John Powers, MD (National Phyicians Alliance), Meg Jones-Monteiro (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility), Clifton Garmon (VOCAL-NY), and Matthew Kavanagh (O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law).
- Day 3
The final day focused on lessons learned from international fights against Pharma’s power, a deeper dive on more radical tactics, and the connections formed across the movement.
- How to Survive Pharma Profiteering – Lessons from Global Struggles for Affordable Medicines. Raising and exploring the impact of US trade on foreign policy. Teasing out the story of private corporate power and international access to affordable and life saving medicines. Thoughts, perspectives, and strategy around solutions to high drug prices, including patent challenges, and lessons learned from fights all over the world.
Moderator: Annette Gaudino (Treatment Action Group)
Panelists: Leonardo Palumbo (MSF Access Campaign), Dana Gill (I-Mak), Suraj Madoori (Treatment Action Group), Rachel Cohen (Drugs for Neglected Disease Institute)
- Pharma in Your Backyard: State Efforts to Address High and Rising Drug Prices – Claire McAndrew, Families USA
- The PHARMABRO Act – State Rep. Will Guzzardi (IL-39)
- Hepatitis C Elimination in New York State – Clifton Garmon, VOCAL-NY
- Government Funding and Responsibility – Merith Basey, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
- Innovation and Public Investment in Prescription Drug Development – Stan Dorn, Families USA
- Write On: Using Letters to the Editor to Get Your Point Across – Emily Sanderson, Health GAP/Student Global AIDS Campaign & Justin Mendoza, Public Citizen
- Civil Society Unites to Fight for Affordable Medicines – by Fran Quigley – Health and Human Rights Journal Blog
- Public Citizen: Affordable Medicines Now – Tracey Cooley – Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation
- Quick Takeaways from #AffordableMedsNow Conference – Audrey Farley – Pens & Needles