Access to medicines: and for credit too!

Sonja says:

“No doubt many of you have seen Mike Gretes’ fantastic talk at TEDxTerry Talks 08. If you haven’t yet, there’s a treat in store for you! Check it out:

While I don’t have an adorable goatee like Mike does, I share his enthusiasm for increasing worldwide access to essential medicines. I also happen to be leading a student-directed seminar in the spring on this very topic.

Why are new ARVs (antiretrovirals; drugs for treating HIV) prohibitively expensive? What typically happens to drugs after they are discovered at university labs? What is UBC doing to change this model? Can pharmaceutical/biotech companies profit while not excluding people in need from accessing their inventions? (the answer is yes– and we have a case study to illustrate this!)

These, and many other questions, will be debated passionately in this seminar course. I invite you to check it out here. There are still spots left, but they’re filling up fast, so let me know asap if you’re interested!

Looking forward to hearing from you,


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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at