In March 2017, organisations from 17 European countries filed an opposition to Gilead Science's patent on the highly effective hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir. On 13th and 14th of September 2018, the hearing took e place before the European Patent Office in Munich.  Activists held a protest in front of the European Patent Office for affordable medicines at the start of proceedings on 13 September.

3 Questions With Shailly Gupta, Communications Advisor

Shailly Gupta
Communications Advisor
MSF Access Campaign
2 min
Photograph by Peter Bauza

What is your role in the Access Campaign as a Communications Advisor?

I provide strategic communications advice to further advocacy objectives based on MSF medical needs.  
This includes coordinating content development for different target audiences and coordinating communications and Access Campaign initiatives with civil society, patient groups, and the MSF communications network.
You worked on both the communications and advocacy sides of the Access Campaign’s push to lower the price of hepatitis C drugs.

What was the most important lesson you learned?

Building on a strong patient and community activist network, including people who inject drugs, who are disproportionately affected by hepatitis C, advocacy for affordable access to new hepatitis C drugs has been very impactful. Our continuous highlighting of the outrageous price of US$1,000 a pill being charged by Big Pharma – making treatment unaffordable for millions of people – really helped in catching the attention of people and policymakers around the world.

In this age of media and information overload, how can we ensure MSF’s public communications on access issues have an impact?

Our unique selling point is the fact that all our communications are rooted in people’s medical needs and realities. Our voice is considered credible not just by the media but by policymakers, civil society, and international governing bodies. Our communications reflect the direct concerns of our patients and MSF medical teams in their struggle to access affordable and quality treatment and care.