Global Health / Global Justice 2015 Conference


Thursday, May 7, 2015 (All day) to Friday, May 8, 2015 (All day)


Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Global Health / Global Justice 2015 Conference
Making New Medicines Accessible to All

Thursday May 7, 2015, 9 am–7 pm
RCC204, Eaton Lecture Theatre, Rogers Communication Centre, Ryerson University

Friday May 8, 2015, 9 am–7 pm
Cara Commons, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

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In the last twenty years, extensive and uniform protections of intellectual property rights (IPRs) have been incorporated into the global trading system through initiatives such as the WTO's Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. Under this IPR regime, the development of new medicines is driven by the reward of high prices facilitated by temporary market exclusivity. While this method of incentivizing research has produced important innovations, it has also engendered unfortunate consequences. When a new medicine is protected from generic competition, its profit-maximizing price inevitably excludes a large proportion of the world's population, even in affluent countries such as Canada. As a result of this system of incentives, people suffer and die needlessly as the medicines they need are out of their reach, and research is focused on medicines that can be sold at high prices, rather than on those that would lead to the greatest improvements in human health.

World map of medicines

Co-organized by Steven J. Hoffman (University of Ottawa), Aidan Hollis (University of Calgary), Thomas Pogge (Yale University), and Mitu Sengupta (Ryerson University), this two-day conference will examine the challenges presented by the IPR regime to improving health and access to medicines in both Canada and beyond. It will also explore methods of meeting these challenges through existing policy initiatives and through a new mechanism for incentivizing pharmaceutical innovation – the Health Impact Fund (HIF).

Funded by governments and other donors, the proposed HIF would support the development and delivery of new medicines through a pay-for-performance mechanism. Any pharmaceutical firm would have the option of registering a new medicine with the HIF, thereby agreeing to provide it at cost anywhere it is needed in exchange for reward payments based on the drug’s actual health impact.

The HIF proposal has inspired a massive body of research on topics as diverse as antibiotic resistance, health ethics, pay-for-performance, and global governance. This conference will provide a venue for sharing key findings from this research with stakeholders in health policy and pharmaceutical innovation, with the ultimate aim of improving policy making, industry practices and public discourse around healthcare quality and access.

More information can be found here

Speakers include (in alphabetical order):

  • Jake Hirsch Allen, Partner, Functional Imperative and Lighthouse Labs
  • José Augusto Barreto-Filho, Divisão de Cardiologia da Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Brazil
  • Jaclyn Beca, Manager, Pharmaeconomics Research Unit, Cancer Care Ontario
  • Solomon Benatar, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, and Founding Director of UCT Bioethics Centre
  • Alyssa Brierley, JD Osgoode Hall Law School, Doctoral Candidate, York University
  • Y.Y. Chen, SJD Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
  • Olivia Chow, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ryerson University, and former Member of Canada's Parliament and Toronto City Councillor
  • Brent Fraser, Director, Drug Program Services Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Julio Frenk, Dean, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
  • Yugank GoyalAssociate Professor, Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Jindal Global University, India
  • Paul Grootendorst, Director of the Division of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
  • Nicole Hassoun, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Binghamton University
  • Steven J. Hoffman, Associate Professor of Law and Director, Global Strategy Lab, University of Ottawa
  • Aidan Hollis, Professor of Economics, University of Calgary
  • Jillian Kohler, Associate Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
  • Trudo LemmensProfessor and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
  • Chris MacDonald, Associate Professor, Law and Business, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
  • Jocelyn MackieVice President Operations & General Counsel, Grand Challenges Canada 
  • Mathura Mahendren, BHSc Candidate, McMaster University
  • Stephanie NixonAssociate Professor, University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health
  • Ana Oda, School of Nursing, Ryerson University
  • Kevin Outterson, Professor of Law, Bioethics and Human Rights, Boston University
  • Jane Philpott, MP Candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in the riding of Markham-Stouffville and former Chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital
  • Andrew Pinto, Staff Physician, St. Michael's Hospital and Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
  • Thomas Pogge, Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs, Yale University
  • Mariana Prado, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
  • Zain Rizvi, JD Candidate, Yale Law School
  • Mitu Sengupta, Associate Professor of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University
  • Geeta Sodhi, Director of Swaasthya, India
  • Lathika Sritharan, Research Coordinator, Global Strategy Lab, University of Ottawa
  • Jami Taylor, Senior Director, Global Access Policy, Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Alex Wellington, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Ryerson University and Director of Ryerson's Ethics Network 
  • David Zakus, School of Occupational and Public Health, Ryerson University
  • Greg Zaric, Professor, Ivey Business School, Western University

Unable to attend the conference in-person? No problem!
Just visit the below links for live video streaming:

Student-Led Session on Build-A-Change 2015 Competition (Organized by Narmeen Haider, McMaster University and Incentives for Global Health)

The conference will also host a student-led session. Build-A-Change is an annual event, founded by Smart Solutions, that brings together students from all disciplines to collaborate and think critically about some of the most pressing global development challenges. This year, Smart Solutions is partnering with Incentives for Global Health (IGH). As the Health Impact Fund (HIF) rewards pharmaceutical firms based on the impact of their products, the HIF depends on the accuracy and reliability of the data used to measure health impact, particularly within developing countries. Students’ in groups of 2-4 are invited to suggest an idea/innovation that will facilitate and encourage accurate, honest, and complete reports by patients and/or health care providers on health outcomes of a specific therapy, while safeguarding patient confidentiality. The winning team, judged by industry experts, will receive a $1000 monetary prize plus mentorship on behalf of IGH. To register and submit your proposals, please visit This challenge was made possible thanks to the hard work of: Leandra Galloro (HIF: McMaster Chapter), Gynter Kotrri (Smart Solutions McMaster) and Harkanwal Randhawa (HIF: McMaster Chapter).

Global Health/Global Justice 2015 Conference Agenda 

Day 1: Key Issues in Global Health


Speaker: Mitu Sengupta (Ryerson University)

SESSION ONE: 9:30 AM— 12:00 PM
Topic: International Health Equity
Chair/Moderator: Zain Rizvi (Yale Law School)
Speakers include: Yugank Goyal (Jindal Global University); Nicole Hassoun (Binghamton University); Lathika Sritharan (University of Ottawa); Alex Wellington (Ryerson University).

LUNCH: 12:00 – 2:00 PM

*Student competition 

Poster presentation by Ana Oda and David Zakus (Ryerson University)

Topic: Making New Medicines Accessible to All – How can we get the Health Impact Fund going? Speaker: Thomas Pogge (Yale University)

SPOTLIGHT: 2:45 – 3:15 PM
Topic: The Role of the Private Sector in Global Health
Speaker: Jami Taylor (Janssen Pharmaceuticals)

Session Moderator: Alyssa Brierley (Osgoode Hall Law School/York University)

COFFEE BREAK: 3:15 – 3:30 PM

SESSION TWO: 3:30 – 5:00 PM
Topic: A Conversation with Practitioners of Global Health Justice
Chair/Moderator: Jake Hirsch-Allen (Partner, Functional Imperative and Lighthouse Labs)
Speakers include: Solomon Benatar (University of Toronto/ University of Cape Town); Jocelyn Mackie (Grand Challenges Canada); Andrew Pinto (St. Michael’s Hospital & University of Toronto); Geeta Sodhi (Swasthya, India).

COFFEE BREAK: 5:00 – 5:30 PM

SESSION THREE: 5:30 – 7:00 PM
Topic: Global Health, Local Perspectives
Chair/Moderator: Chris MacDonald (Ryerson University)
Speakers include: Olivia Chow (former NDP MP/city councilor) and Jane Philpott (Liberal MP Candidate in forthcoming federal election).

Day Two: Focus on Access to Medicines

SESSION FOUR: 9:00 — 10:30 AM

Topic: Moving Towards a Global Agreement on Antibiotic Resistance
Chair/Moderator: Trudo Lemmens (University of Toronto)
Speakers include: Aidan Hollis (University of Calgary); Steven J. Hoffman (University of Ottawa); Jillian Kohler (University of Toronto); Kevin Outterson (Boston University).

COFFEE BREAK: 10:30 – 11:00 AM

SESSION FIVE: 11:00 AM — 12:30 PM
Topic: Universal Health Coverage
Chair/Moderator: Stephanie Nixon (University of Toronto)
Speakers include: Y.Y. Chen (University of Toronto); Jose Augusto Barreto-Filho (Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil); Paul Grootendorst (University of Toronto).

LUNCH: 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Topic: “To Save Humanity”: What Matters Most for a Healthy Future?
Chair/Moderator: Julio Frenk (Harvard University) and Steven J. Hoffman (University of Ottawa)
Speakers include: Mathura Mahendren (McMaster University); Thomas Pogge (Yale University); Mariana Prado (University of Toronto); Zain Rizvi (Yale Law School).

COFFEE BREAK: 3:30pm – 4:00pm

Topic: Pay for Performance
Chair/Moderator: Aidan Hollis (University of Calgary)
Speakers include: Jaclyn Beca (Cancer Care Ontario); Brent Fraser (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care); Greg Zaric (Ivey Business School, Western University).

Speaker: Aidan Hollis (University of Calgary)

RECEPTION 6:15pm: Hor d’oeuvres & Cash Bar (Cara Commons, TRSM)

Canadian Book Launch of "To Save Humanity": What Matters Most for a Healthy Future
(edited by Julio Frenk and Steven J. Hoffman and published by Oxford University Press)

The conference will also host the official Canadian launch of a new book to be published by Oxford University Press. “To Save Humanity” is a collection of 96 short, honest essays on what single issue matters most for the future of global health. Authored by the world’s leading voices from science, politics, and social advocacy, this collection is both a primer on the major issues of our time and a blueprint for post-2015 health and development. Contributors include Michelle Bachelet (President of Chile), Michael Bloomberg (former Mayor of New York City), Gro Harlem Brundtland (former PM of Norway), Margaret Chan (WHO Director-General), Bill Clinton (former US President), Paul Farmer (Co-Founder of Partners In Health), Melinda Gates (Co-Chair of Gates Foundation), Elton John (Grammy Award-winning musician), Jim Yong Kim (World Bank President), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria's Finance Minister), Michael Porter (Harvard Business School professor), Michel Sidibé (UNAIDS Executive Director), and Larry Summers (former US Treasury Secretary). This unparalleled collection aims to provide illuminating and thought-provoking reading for anyone invested in our collective future. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the conference – which is almost a month before they will reach the shelves of Canadian bookstores on June 1, 2015.


Attending this conference is free. However, we ask you to please sign up for this event to help us determine numbers for refreshments and ensure we can email you in the event of any changes.

For more information, please contact Prof. Mitu Sengupta ( or
Mr. Matthew Hughsam (

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, International Development Research Centre, Ted Rogers School of Management, and the Office of the Vice President of Research & Innovation at Ryerson University, and in-kind support from Academics Stand Against Poverty.

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