Por: Julia Varela
GEP Foundation (FGEP), along with more than 20 other civil society organizations from different countries in Latin America committed to defending the right to health, requested last January 18th a Thematic Hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the issue of lack of access to medicines.
The request was presented at the regular submission period for hearings for the 157th Session of the Commission, and aims to «bring awareness to the lack of necessary and affordable medicines in the Americas as a denial of the fundamental right to health and life, to the causes of this situation, to the consequences it has on the population, and also to propose effective and feasible solutions to overcome it effectively. »
Lack of medicines is the most serious global public health problem today, compromising both the right to health and life. In Latin America, 230 million people (40% of the population) do not have health insurance and 125 million (21%) do not have access to basic health services. As a result, according to PAHO 700,000 preventable deaths occur in the region annually.
International regulations recognize that the right to access to medicines is a fundamental step for the full achievement of the right to health. Governments have the obligation to take measures for the progressive realization of this right as to respect, protect and guarantee the right to life, especially through ensuring access to essential medicines. For this reason, it is clear that this is a subject that fully concerns all countries in the region and, therefore, the Inter-American Human Rights System (ISHRS).
The Latin American Network for Access to Medicines (REDLAM) is one of the petitioner organizations, as well as its partner organizations (including FGEP) and other organizations with whom RedLAM works together to improve access to medicines in the region: GTPI/Rebrip (Brazil), International Action for Health (AIS), IFARMA (Colombia) and others. The decision on the application will be known in March.