Our demands

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The innovation system in the pharmaceutical sector must be fundamentally changed so that it serves the needs of public health instead of the short-term profits of multinational pharmaceutical companies. Immediate and long-term solutions are available – but it requires political will to implement them.

Access to medication is an integral part of the right to health. For this, medicines must be available and affordable. Even the privatization of public services does not release a state from its primary duty to protect and safeguard human rights. State regulations must ensure that access to medicines is warranted and pharmaceutical companies have the obligation to respect human rights.

Furthermore, Switzerland should establish a coherent foreign trade policy and refrain from putting the interests of its pharmaceutical industry above the right to health and access to medicines in other countries within the framework of international agreements.

More infos

  • Transparency about conflicts of interest

    Intensive lobbying and close ties between pharmaceutical companies and parliament, government, and administration create conflicts of interest. These must be identified, discussed, and regulated.

  • Transparency about public and private investments and conditions

    Patent-based monopolies provide pharmaceutical companies with enormous pricing power. The industry argues that high prices are necessary to compensate for the high-risk research and development of medicines but refuses to provide any transparency about the actual investments made. Transparency about public and private investments is needed, and public funds must be tied to conditions regarding price and access.

  • Respect for ethical standards in conducting clinical trials

    The respect of ethical standards for clinical studies must be reviewed when approving a medicine. Clinical trials should be offshored only if the local population can really and directly benefit from the results. For example, because the study addresses the treatment of a disease, by which the local population is particularly affected, or because the treatment - if proven to be more effective than existing treatment methods - will be made available and accessible to the affected population.

  • Transparency about the results of clinical trials

    Too many results of clinical trials are never published, and some are not even submitted to the regulatory authority if they show inconclusive results. Thus, the public has no way of independently verifying how safe and effective new medicines are. Therefore, at least all reports of those clinical trials that form the basis for approval must be published – as integral Clinical Study Reports, and not just as summaries.

  • Transparency in price negotiations

    The WHO transparency resolution (WHA 72.8, 2019) on medicine prices must be fully implemented. This means: no secret deals and no exclusion of real drug prices and discounts from the scope of the Swiss Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

  • Change in pricing procedure

    Currently, prices for patented medicines are determined exclusively on the basis of unsuitable and distorted comparisons. Numerous studies have shown that this system is inefficient and outdated, yet nothing changes. A pricing system that takes into account real investments in research and development, actual production and distribution costs, market volume, and a reasonable profit margin would lead to just and fairer prices.

  • Combating abusive monopolies

    Patents must be more thoroughly examined, and patentability criteria must be stricter. This should prevent the granting of unjustified and abusive patents, especially so-called secondary patents, which delay the market entry of lower-cost generics.

  • Recognizing and using TRIPS flexibilities

    So that the right to health takes precedence over economic interests and access to medicines is promoted for all, the TRIPS flexibilities enshrined in the international agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – such as compulsory licenses - must be fully utilized by all states in the interest of public health. Also, wealthy states like Switzerland must not prevent lower-income countries from using these flexibilities in the interest of their population.

  • No TRIPS+ provisions in trade agreements

    In bilateral free trade agreements or other plurilateral agreements, lower-income countries must no longer be imposed – as is often the case today - a strengthening of their intellectual property regulation that goes beyond the standards of the TRIPS Agreement.

  • Reform of the innovation model and open science initiatives

    To dissociate research costs from the end price of medicines, alternative mechanisms for coordinating and financing research and development must be actively supported. Solutions for this delinkage have already been proposed in international forums and are intended to ensure that vital medicines are available as affordable public goods directly, without manufacturing and sales monopolies, in particular for unmet medical needs.