Hans V. Hogerzeil, MD, PhD, FRCP Edin

Hans V. Hogerzeil, MD, PhD, FRCP Edin, is Professor of Global Health at Groningen University (Netherlands). He was a mission doctor in India and Ghana and in 1985 joined the WHO. He has advised over forty countries, including S-Africa, India and China on the development of their national medicines policy and programme. From 2004 to 2011 he was Director for Essential Medicines, being responsible for all WHO's global policies, nomenclature and standards on medicines, the prequalification programme, and all technical support to Member States. From 2001 to 2011 he was the Chair of the Interagency Pharmaceutical Coordination Group of all major UN agencies, the Global Fund, the World Bank and UNITAID. Dr Hogerzeil is the editor of several WHO books and wrote over 60 scientific papers on essential medicines policies. His recent interests include essential medicines for reproductive health, access to essential medicines as part of the fulfillment of the right to health, and the biennial ATM index.


Prof. Maximilian De Courten

Dr. Maximilian De Courten is the inaugural Professor of Global Public Health at the Copenhagen School of Global Health, University of Copenhagen, and a specialist global public health, chronic desease surveillance and prevention, and community-based interventions. He graduated with an MD in Switzerland and previously worked in Australia at Monash University and as a staff of the WHO in Geneva and the South Pacific. Professor de Courten's primary research area is Global Health with a focus on non-communable diseases, their prevention and control, health promotion, diabetes, obesity, and surveillance - leading to transnational public health programs. 

Caroline Walter

Caroline Walter, born in Bavaria, studied journalism, german studies and politics in Berlin. Since 1999 Caroline Walter is working as a TV-Journalist in Berlin as well as an author at the ARD-Magazine Kontraste. She did plenty of investigative reportages and research about the link between health politics and the pharmaceutical industry. In 2010 her book "Patienten im Visier - Die neue Strategie der Pharmakonzerne" ("Focus on Patients - New Strategies of the Pharmaceutical Companies".)

Dr. med. Günther Jonitz

Dr. med. Günther Jonitz is born in Munich, Germany, on 19. June 1958. License to practice medicine in 1984, specialist for surgery in 1994, qualification as doctor of medicine in 1996. Since 1999 President of the Berlin Chamber of Physicians and a member of the board of the German Medical Association, where he is responsible for quality assurance of medical activity. He is Chair of the quality assurance bodies of the German Medical Association (BÄK) and representatives of the German Medical Association Board of Trustees of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). He is founding member and formerly Chair of the German Coalition for Patient Safety (APS) as well as founding member of the German Network for Evidence Based Medicine (DNEbM). He is working as expert and advisor of the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) on questions relating to patient safety in international organizations (e.g. EU Commission, WHO) as well as he is Vice-Chairman of the advisory board of the German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI), connected to the German Federal Ministry of Health. Last but not least he is member of the board of the medical labour union Marburger Bund (MB), regional association of Berlin/Brandenburg.”

Patrick Durisch

Patrick Durisch is a veterinary doctor holding a Master of Advanced Studies in Public Health from the University of Geneva. Since February 2009, he has served as Health Programme Coordinator for the Swiss advocacy NGO Berne Declaration (www.ladb.ch/santé), a member organization since the early days of the Health Action International - Europe movement. For several decades, the Berne Declaration has been campaigning to Swiss public or private stakeholders for better access to medicines in developing countries and innovation for the diseases of the poor, through adapted intellectual property rights, increased corporate social accountability and democratic governance in global health. The Berne Declaration has been recently doing extensive researches on the issue of unethical clinical drug trials in low and middle income countries. Additionally, Durisch has worked at the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health as a pandemic preparedness specialist, before which he worked for almost 15 years as a program manager for development and relief NGOs overseas, in France and in Switzerland. Durisch has been elected at the HAI Europe Association Board in 2011 for a 3-year term.


Clara Matthiessen

Clara Matthiessen is a 5th year medical student at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Clara has been involved in various global health activities since she started her medical studies, among others she has worked on access to the health care system for undocumented migrants. More than two years ago she joined the student organization Universities Allied for Essential Medicine (UAEM) in order to get more involved in access to medicine and pharma awareness. She has been member of UAEMs European Board since April 2012 and is currently the Chair of the Board.

Dr. Christian Wagner-Ahlfs


Dr. Christian Wagner-Ahlfs is a chemist and senior editor of the journal "good pills - bad pills". Since 2001 he works for the Campaign BUKO Pharma, where he is engaged in healthful information about the use and risks of medicine. From 2005-2011 he has worked in the board of Health Action International (HAI) Europe and since 2011 he is part of the board of HAI Global.

Vanessa López

Vanessa López is the co-founder and executive director of Salud por Derecho (Right to Health Foundation) from 2004. She graduated in Social Physiology and received a Masters degree in Development from the Universidad Pontifica Comillas in 2001. In its first six years, the organization focused on promoting greater political will and resources to fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in impoverished countries and during that time contributed to dramatically improving the leadership, political will, policies and funding for HIV/AIDS through the Spanish Development Policy. From 2010 Salud por Derecho has gone further in a broader global health perspective and alongside the fight against HIV/AIDS has focused in the promotion of more and better R&D in a needs-driven and affordable innovation system and incorporated the commitment to promoting universal social health protection. Vanessa frequently participates in the Developed Countries NGO Delegation at the Global Fund Board and Salud por Derecho is, inter alia, member of HAI Europe and the coordination organization of the Access to Medicines in Spain Group jointly promoted with TACD in December 2012.


Tessel Mellema

Tessel Mellema is a specialist in intellectual property (IP) law with specific expertise on the interplay of IP and EU policies that may have an impact on access to medicines within the EU and abroad. At Health Action International (HAI) Europe she is responsible for the EU Trade & Access, and Essential Innovation & Access campaigns. Areas of work include advocating for EU trade policies that are coherent with the EU’s commitments on health and development, campaigning for changes to the EU’s internal market laws that hamper access to medicines in Europe and advancing EU actions on the exploration of new models of biomedical innovation that promote needs-driven innovation and affordable access to resulting medical products. Prior to joining HAI, Tessel worked as an attorney-at-law for a large Dutch law firm, specialising in intellectual property law, with specific experience in the field of (bio)technology and life sciences. She has combined this legal experience with a Master’s degree in International Relations and a postgraduate course from the international think-tank Clingendael.


Jörg Schaaber

Jörg Schaaber is a sociologist and Master of Public Health. He works for the German development NGO BUKO Pharma-Kampagne since 1981. He is the editor of Pharma-Brief, the newsletter of the organisation and executive officer of Gute Pillen – Schlechte Pillen, a lay drug bulletin which is a joint project of four German drug bulletins. Jörg Schaaber is a co-founder of Health Action International (HAI) and has been a member of the executive board of HAI-Europe from 1988-2001. He is a patient representative in the drug committee of the German public health insurance (G-BA). Since 2008 he is President of the International Society of Drug Bulletins (ISDB).

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