Academics in Preston have been given a major grant to find ways of saving the lives of millions of sick people.
A University of Central Lancashire team has been tasked with finding ways to prevent the deaths of people who die because they can’t afford medicine.
UCLan has been awarded a €2m European Research Council grant (ERC) to explore how access to lifesaving medicines can be improved across the world.
It is estimated around 10m people die across the world every years as a direct result of high drug prices – including in the UK who can’t access drugs on the NHS.
The UCLan team will look at how things can be improved – either through subsidies or by reducing costs.
They will look into high prices generated by the intellectual property rights (IPR) system as well as issues such as patent-protected mark-up.
The research project – ‘Performance-based Innovation Rewards’ will be led by Professor Thomas Pogge.
He is a world leader in his field and said: “There are no easy solutions to mitigating the disadvantages of the international IPR system.
“With the ERC funding, my team will be able to spend five years in a sustained effort to resolve one of the most intractable problems of the 20th and 21st Century.”
Professor Doris Schroeder, director of the Centre for Professional Ethics at the School of Health at UCLan, added: “I am very proud, and hopeful that Thomas’ team will provide a breakthrough in the problem of access to life-saving medicines for the poor.
“The ERC funding is not only a recognition of his global standing, given that the ERC only funds exceptional research leaders and pioneering work.
“It is also a means to an end that the Centre has been working towards for 10 years now, namely a significant improvement in the lives of the poor.”