Our mission is to ensure affordable access to medicine for all. Learn more about us below.
Our Mission: Access to medicines
The Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation serves the public interest by striving to ensure access to medicine. Medicines and medical technologies are made available in a socially responsible and sustainable manner. We attach a value to fair pricing and distribution in accordance with European and international legal standards, and therefore take action to combat unjustifiable price gouging by companies abusing market monopolies.
We seek to achieve our objectives through the provision of advice and information to governments, stakeholders professionals and the general public. If that does not help, we achieve our objectives through the possible legal action around excessively high priced medicines. Our Articles of Association (in Dutch) can be found here.
The Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation was created in July 2018 in response to unethical gaming of the pharmaceutical incentive system that betrays the public trust, harms patients and prevents access to medicines.
Our first case was the complaint against pharmaceutical company Leadiant in September 2018. This company was granted exclusive rights to market an old medicine called CDCA as a treatment for a rare metabolic illness, cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX), and promptly increased its price 500-fold. CDCA had been on the market since 1976 as a gallstone treatment, and had since 1999 been prescribed off label to treat CTX at a cost of € 0.28 per capsule or € 308 per treatment-year in the Netherlands. After Leadiant obtained exclusive marketing rights, it increased CDCA’s price to € 140 per capsule or € 153,300 per treatment-year, imposing a crippling new price on CTX patients. The company had also bought and removed less expensive versions of this medicine from the EU market, so that CTX sufferers would be completely dependent on their over-priced version. Unfortunately, this kind of behaviour is not isolated.
Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly taking advantage of regulations intended to incentivise the creation of new, needed medicines in the public interest to instead ratchet up prices to levels that keep those medicines out of reach. And often this is done without any new innovation at all – as was the case with CDCA, a medicine which had been in use to treat CTX for two decades before Leadiant’s price hike.
The Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation has been taking action against Leadiant – and will take action against other companies that similarly abuse their exclusivity rights.
Governance and Advisory Board
The governance of the Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation consists of a Governance Board and an Expert Advisory Board. The Governance board is responsible for the policy and implementation of the Foundation’s activities. Both boards work on a 100% voluntary basis and make their knowledge, skills and experience available to the foundation entirely without interest.
Wilbert is a physician and public health consultant, with over 35 years of experience in improving pharmaceutical systems in developing countries.
Sabina VoogdBoard Member
Business Owner 3 Star Lobby: Coaching and Training on Lobby. Until May 2021: Lobbying for fair access to Covid-19 vaccines and C-TAP for Wemos.
Expert Advisory Board
Hans has been working on board level in the automotive industries for over 30 years. Now that he has retired, he is dedicating his time to a healthier world.
Tegan is a human rights lawyer (LL.M.) with a focus on global health and children's rights. She is a Project Researcher for Protect Children (Suojellaan Lapsia).
Prof. Dr. Brigit ToebesChairperson of the Advisory Board
Brigit is Professor of Health Law in International Perspective, University of Groningen.
Tom Buis MscAdvisory Board Member
As a global health advocate at Wemos, Tom focuses on advocacy to strengthen health systems worldwide and to ensure that medicines are affordable.
Richard van SlobbeAdvisory Board Member
Richard is a Dutch registered public pharmacist specialist.
Ella WeggenAdvisory Board Member
As a lawyer and senior global health advocate, Ella focuses on the realisation of equitable access to affordable medicines and other medical technologies worldwide.
Edwin de VoogdAdvisory Board Member
With 35+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Edwin has also worked at the intersection of private sector and humanitarian organisations, and assists FtV in its mission for fair pricing. Edwin is also active as a freelance consultant, is responsible for the African Region at PUM and is on the board of Quamed.
Aart HendriksAdvisory Board Member
Aart is professor in health law at Leiden University, in the Netherlands.
Dr. Ellen ’t Hoen, LL.M.Advisory Board Member
Ellen is a lawyer and public health advocate, and the director of Medicines Law & Policy.
Dr. Jennifer SellinAdvisory Board Member
Jennifer is Assistant Professor of International and European law at the University of Maastricht.
Katrina PerehudoffAdvisory Board Member
Katrina is a health scientist and legal scholar with over a decade of experience in pharmaceutical policy, with a specialisation on access to medicines.
Anna LaskaiAdvisory Board Member
Anna is a criminologist and assistant professor at the University of Utrecht. Her research interests lie within the field of white collar, corporate crime, and organizational criminology.
Andre den ExterAdvisory Board Member
Andre is a lecturer in health law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research focuses on human rights and health care access, pharmaceutical law, health insurance law, European health law, and international treaty law and health care. He is also a founding member of the Erasmus Observatory on Health Law.
Mahboebeh AlipourAdvisory Board Member
Mahboebeh is an attorney specialized in food and administrative law with a background in health and competition law.
Emily Dowdalls, MScProjectcoordinator (on leave until July 2022)
Emily is a non-practicing pharmacist and a trained community organizer with experience in the climate movement. She has dedicated her time to (climate) justice in healthcare.
Rosalind Turkie, LLMHuman rights consultant/Acting project coordinator
Rosalind is a human rights lawyer (LL.M.) with a background in languages. Her current focus is on promoting access to medicines through the right to health. She has also conducted research on using human rights to promote healthier and more sustainable food systems.
Partners & Resources
There are many organisations aside from Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation doing important work and creating valuable resources to further the capacity of governments and others to ensure that all benefit from the universal right to health. Some we work closely with (our partners), and others are those we find to be valuable sources of reliable, expert information. Links to these organisations are below.