Open letter from medical doctors to WTO Members

13 December 2002

An Open Letter to WTO Members:

We as doctors and pharmacists strongly object to efforts by the United States and other countries to limit the scope of diseases covered under the Doha Declaration. The Ministerial agreement that came out of Doha was meant to ensure that countries could access medicines necessary to protect the public health in their jurisdictions. Now a group of developed countries is trying to reinterpret Doha to mean that only drugs necessary to treat a limited number of infectious diseases are covered. This reinterpretation means that developing countries may not be able to access drugs that treat important causes of diseases.

According to an article in the November 2, 2002 edition of The Lancet, the leading causes of disease in high-mortality developing regions include high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The World Health Organization estimates that 10 million people get cancer each year, (half of which live in developing countries). WHO also estimates that 150 million people in the world have asthma, and that this number could grow to 300 million by the year 2025. The International Diabetes Foundation estimates the number of diabetics in the world to be 177 million. There are millions of other people with serious diseases who lack access to a wide variety of treatments. These problems would not be covered under the proposed agreement that is now circulating.

As health professionals we believe that it is unacceptable to leave major causes of disease untreated.


(Affiliations are only for the purpose of identification)

Joel Lexchin MD
Emergency Department
University Health Network
Toronto Canada

Joe Lasek, MD
Department of Psychiatry
Fletcher Allen Healthcare/University of Vermont
Burlington, VT

Jon Jureidini
Department of Psychological Medicine
Women's and Children's Hospital
72 King William Rd
North Adelaide, 5006

Dr David Henry
Faculty of Health,
University of Newcastle,
NSW Australia

Carol Devine
MSF Canada

Olveen Carrasquillo, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health
Columbia University

Dr. Ken Harvey
Senior Lecturer
School of Public Health
La Trobe University
Bundoora, 3086, Australia

Faiz Ahmad
Med-2 Class of 2005
McGill University
Montreal, Canada

Mark Tessaro
Med-2 Class of 2005
McGill University
Montreal, Canada

Dr. Katrina Allen M.B,B.S, M.Sc., F.R.A.C.G.P.,
Medical Education Co-ordinator
Shine SA
17, Phillips St., Kensington SA 5068

Jennifer Williams
Med-2 McGill University
Montreal, Canada

Chloe Roumain
Med-1 Class of 2006
McGill University
Montreal, Canada

Srinivas Murthy
MD/PhD Class of 2009
McGill University

Jennie Lates
Chief Pharmacist: National Drug Policy Co-ordination
Ministry of Health and Social Services
Private Bag 13198

Gordon Schiff MD
Director Clinical Quality Research
Cook County Hospital
Dept of Medicine
Associate Professor of Medicine
Rush Medical College
1900 W. Polk Rm 901
Chicago IL 60612

Dr Sue Crockett
Centre for International Health
Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health
cnr Punt and Commercial Rds,
Prahran, Victoria, 3181

Manish Badonia, B Pharm., MBA (International Business)
Asst. General Manager - International Marketing
Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Cadila Corporate Campus, Sarkhej-Dholka Road, Bhat,
Ahmedabad 382210, Gujarat, India

Dr Jens Van Roey, MD
Tibotec-Virco Comm. VA

Dr Gopal Dabade,
BUKO Pharma-Kampagne,
August Bebel Str 62,
D 33602 Bielefeld,

Staffan Svensson, MD, researcher
Dept of Clinical Pharmacology
Sahlgrenska Univ Hospital
S-413 45 Gothenburg

Catherine Kyobutungi (MBChB MUK, Msc(CHHM) Heidelberg)
Department of Tropical Hygiene and Public health
University of Heidelberg,
INF 324 D-69120 Heidelberg

David E. Bratt MD, MPH
Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies

Patrice Trouiller
Hospital Practitioner
University Hospital of Grenoble, France

Dr. Syed Ziaur Rahman
Department of Pharmacology
J. N. Medical College
Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh - 202002 India

James Orbinski Bsc(hons), MD, MA, MSC
Associate Professor,
Centre for International Health,
St. Michaels' Hospital,
Univeristiy of Toronto

Richard J. Brown, MD.
372 Central Park West -12P
New York, NY 10025

Berenice Goorah, MD-CM 2005
Medical student,
McGill University
Montreal Canada

Jerome R Hoffman, MD
Emergency Medicine Center
UCLA Center for the Health Sciences
Los Angeles, California

Dr Nick Silberstein
Coordinador Medico
Medicos sin Fronteras Seccien Suiza
Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Dr. Perla M. de Buschiazzo
C=E1tedra de Farmacologia
Facultad de Ciencias Medicas
Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Calle 60 y 120 (1900) La Plata, Argentina

Dr. Laura Cremonini

Michael Schull, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Institue for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Dept of Emergency Services
Sunnybrook and Women's Hospital
Toronto, Canada

Kathleen A. Clanon, MD
Medical Director, HIV Services
Alameda County Medical Center
1411 E. 31st Street
Oakland, CA 94602

Catherine Oliver MD CM
Davenport Perth Community Health Centre
Toronto, Ontario

Rosamund Lewis, MDCM, CCFP, FRCPC
Immunisation Advisor
World Health Organisation

Dr Md Sayedur Rahman
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University

Norella Kong CT, MD
National University of Malaysia

Dr Genevieve Beck-Wirth
Hematologie Clinique
Centre Hospoitalier de Mulhouse
BP 1370
68070 Mulhouse CEDEX

Dr Ngoy Mohamed
C.N.O.M 5590
Docteur en medecine
Clinique Magnificat,villa 687,cite
Mama Mobutu,Commune de mont-ngafula.
Kinshasa/Republique democratique du Congo

Corinne HJ Zondag MSc, MPharm, PharmD
Academic Medical Centre I
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dr Benoit Marchand
Proyecto Fortalecimiento del Sistema de Salud en Nicaragua

Daniel Jorge Shapiro MD

Dr Eric-Viet Laperriere-Nguyen MDCM MSF

Pharmacien Jean Baptiste
President du Conseil Provicial de l'Ordre
des Pharmaciens du Katanga R.D. Congo

Dijs Verhagen, MD
Beltmolen 152906 SB Capelle aan den IJssel,

Pharmacien hospitalier
Hopital de Soavinandriana

Dr H. Pierre MALLET
Public health and Medical Doctor
Médecins Sans Frontières

Carinne Bruneton
Réseau Médicaments et Développement
Pharmacien, déléguée générale
35 rue Daviel
75 013 Paris

Andrew Herxheimer
Emeritus Fellow, UK Cochrane Centre

Moses B.F. Massaquoi, MD, MPH
Médecins Sans Frontières-Belgium
Kenyan Mission
P.O. Box 38897
Nairobi, Kenya

Dr Carl B C Whiteside
Associate Professor,
Director of Rural Training Program,
Dept. of Family Practice,
University of British Columbia,
Vancouver BC,

Amy Brodkey, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Dr. David Tu M.D., CCFP

Doug Kittle MD
Medical Coordinator
Sri Lanka

Gaël Claquin, MD, MPH
AIDS & TB program officer for French governement
development agency (foreign office)
PO Box 934
Central African Republic

Dr Pascal Revault
conseiller continuité des soins, réseaux sociaux
Maryse Bouchard
1st year Medical Student
McGill University
Montreal, Canada

Dr. Mary Ann Badali
Emergency Physician
Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre
Toronto, Canada

Anton R. Miller MB.ChB., FRCPC
Clinical Associate Professor,
Department of Pediatrics,
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

James Maskalyk, MD
Editorial Fellow 2002-2003
Canadian Medical Association Journal
1867 Alta Vista Drive
Ottawa, Ontario

Medecin , Service d'Orthopédie Hôpital Général A-SICE de Pointe-Noire
Responsable du Département de lutte contre le Tabagisme,
Association Congolaise pour la santé publique et communautaire
BP 4066 Tél:(00242)331461/209050

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