Access to Medicines Training for Patient Advocates

If you are a patient advocate and would like to better understand the reasons behind unaffordable and inaccessible medicines, AMI are offering a one day training session. The training session will be facilitated by Diarmaid McDonald from Just Treatment and will concentrate on the following topics:

  • The problem with high costs of medicines

  • Why are medicines prices so high?

  • Impact of intellectual property on access to medicines and innovation

  • How global health activists are fighting for patients

  • Patients voice!

If this is something you are interested in, please get in contact with patient advocates and Access to Medicines Ireland members:

Sheila Fitzgerald:


Robbie Lawlor:


WHERE: Richmond House, Co. Dublin, Ireland (fully accessible)

WHEN: Monday, September 9th

TIME: 11am - 4.30pm

TRAVEL: If you are travelling from outside of Dublin, please discuss this with Sheila and Robbie, and we will discuss contribution towards your travel.

Conference Report 2019 Launch

The 3rd Annual Access to Medicines Ireland Conference report synthesises core messages and recommendations from international experts, patient advocates, healthcare workers and political figures. This conference took place on April 16th 2019, hosted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

This year, there was a specific focus on proposals to reform the current model of innovation within the industry, to shift the emphasis away from patents and monopolies towards making public health and accessibility the priority.

Over 170 delegates attended to hear the diverse speakers’ perspectives on the issues that affect access to medicines in Ireland and overseas.

To view our report, please follow this click here

Videos of the speakers will be posted to our website very soon.

Knowledge Portal for Innovation and Access to Medicines

The Knowledge Network for Innovation and Access to Medicines launched a new online tool providing open-access information, research and analysis on policies relating to pharmaceutical innovation and access. The Knowledge Portal, available at, aims to make existing knowledge more widely-available and easily accessible to researchers, advocates, practitioners and policymakers to improve policies for innovation and globally-equitable access to medicines. It is a project of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, supported by a grant of the Open Society Foundations.

The Knowledge Portal brings four main resources: research syntheses, data sources, list of research gaps and webinars. The resources are divided into three interrelated themes: Pricing, Intellectual Property and Innovation, and cover a range of related topics.

Deputy Maureen O' Sullivan challenges An Taoiseach about high drug prices

“There is a more progressive model of research and development that is committed to access and affordability and that is what we need to pursue”

During Leader’s Questions, Deputy Maureen O’ Sullivan made an impassioned speech entitled ‘Big Pharma holding patients to ransom as government stands by…’

Deputy O’ Sullivan argued against the rising costs of lifesaving medicine and made reference to the costs of CAR-T therapy, Orkambi, Spinraza and Pempro.

“The University of Pennsylvania was able to produce a new treatment for cancer, CAR-T, for $15,000. Novartis is producing it at a cost of $475,000.”

The team at Access to Medicines Ireland are thrilled that Deputy O’ Sullivan referenced our call for the Irish government to support the Italian Transparency Resolution.

“I am also asking that, as called for at a recent access to medicines conference, Ireland support the Italian resolution on transparency on this matter at the World Health Assembly in Geneva next week.”

Other calls for government action included, public return on public investment by strengthening the negotiating power of universities and public research units, retaining patent rights to some publicly funded drugs and to create a policy to support the uptake of bio-similars.

To see the full 7 minute video which includes An Taoiseach’s response, please follow the link:

Drug costs threaten to bankrupt healthcare, says lobby group

Access to Medicines Ireland seeks change in R&D approach of pharmaceutical companies.

“It is clear that, unless addressed, the current system of medicines development will continue to heap financial pressure on strained health systems and put pressure on governments to reimburse medicines at any price,” said Kieran Harkin of Access to Medicines Ireland, a group of medical professionals, patients and concerned members of the public.'“

An article in The Irish Times discussing the goals of Access to Medicines Ireland and promoting our conference on April 16.

Find the full article here:

To register for our conference, please follow this link:

Access to Medicines Ireland speak at Oireachtas Health Committee hearing

Today, Dr. Kieran Harkin, Dr. Ciara Conlon and Robbie Lawlor spoke on behalf of Access to Medicines Ireland in parliament. During a series of committee hearings for the Oireachtas Health Committee National Medicines Strategy, we were invited to discuss proposed reforms to the current model used to incentivise research and development. Every member of parliament present agreed that action needed to be taken. This is a positive step for Ireland in taking action against the extortionate high prices of medicines. We welcome further discussions with the Health Committee and we hope to work together in future to increase access to medicines for all.

To watch this committee hearing, please follow this link:

Access to Medicines Ireland 3rd Annual Conference

After the big successes of our two previous conferences, we are back again with a range of new expertise from Ireland and abroad. Registration is mandatory, so please find a link to the Eventbrite page and register here.

This conference will explore proposals to reform the current medicines innovation model in order to develops drugs with public health and accessibility as the priority.

Conference Speakers

Professor Michael Barry, Clinical Director of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics

Mr James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International

Mr Diarmaid McDonald, Just Treatment UK

Mr Bas Leerink, Chairperson of Committee which prepared the report of the Dutch Health Council, Development of New Medicines: Better, Faster Cheaper

Ms Kay English Curtin, Patient Expert

Ms Michele Tait, Manager, National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme 2014-2018

Conference Moderator

Susan Mitchell, Deputy Editor of The Sunday Business Post

Policy Document Launch in Dáil Éireann

We are delighted with the reception we got in parliament today for the launch of our policy document, Access to Medicines: A High Price to Pay. A big thank you to Michael Harty TD, Chairman of Oireachtas Health Committee for hosting us and for the engagement of many TDs on the health committee and those with an interest in fighting for health equity. We look forward to working with each other in the future to address the issue of high drug prices in Ireland and abroad.

European Access to Medicines Manifesto 2019/Thoghcháin na hEorpa 2019

The looming European elections provide an important opportunity for EU citizens to ensure that the EU is serious about the health and well being of its citizens. This manifesto outlines key asks that will help put citizens at the centre of policy-making in this area and ensure that Access to Medicines is prioritised on the agenda of the next European Parliament and the new European Commission:

Find the EU Manifesto HERE

Ag cur sláinte na ndaoine chun tosaí: Ag feabhsú rochtain ar leigheasanna san Eoraip

Is iomaí tíortha san Eoraip gur féidir leo caighdéain arda a chur ar fáil dá saoránaigh, leis na príomhphrionsabail de chomhionannas, dlúthpháirtíocht agus uilíocht ag treorú dearbhú ár gcóras sláinte. Cé go maireann neamhionannais suntasacha maidir le rochtain ar chúram sláinte idir agus laistigh de bhallstáit an Aontais Eorpaigh, go ginéarálta is féidir linn a bheith bródúil as ár gcórais chúram sláinte go háirithe i gcompáráid leis an múnla neamhchuimsitheach agus costasach Meiriceánach.