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Intellectual Property Wars: The Battle for Access to Medicines

October 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm  |  Kuumbwa Jazz Center


The globalization of intellectual property in the 1980s has coincided with some of the deadliest pandemics, epidemics and outbreaks, from HIV, hepatitis C, SARS, and recently COVID -19. Tahir Amin will take us through his and his organization’s journey over two decades fighting the ever growing intellectual property systems being pushed by the US, EU and their pharmaceutical companies that are blocking affordable access to medicines for billions of low income populations around the world.


This event if free and open to the public. Registration required.

Doors open at 6pm, program begins at 7pm. Kuumbwa Jazz Center’s kitchen will be open for refreshments before and during the program.

Tahir Amin Tahir Amin, LL.B., Dip. LP., is a founder and executive director of the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), a nonprofit organisation working to address structural inequities in how medicines are developed and distributed. He has over 25 years of experience in intellectual property (IP) law, during which he has practised with two of the leading IP law firms in the United Kingdom and served as IP Counsel for multinational corporations. His work focuses on re-shaping IP laws and the related global political economy to better serve the public interest, by changing the structural power dynamics that allow health and economic inequities to persist.

Amin and I-MAK have also put out a 10 point plan for the Biden-Harris administration to bring equity into the patent system, and their work is highlighted in the New York Times Editorial Board’s recent endorsement of patent reform. He is a former Harvard Medical School Fellow in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine and TED Fellow. Amin has served as legal advisor/consultant to many international groups, including the European Patent Office and World Health Organization, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on intellectual property and unsustainable drug price.

This is the inaugural event of the “Race, Empire, and the Environments of Biomedicine” Sawyer Seminar series.



October 18
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm