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Inspired by Stephen Lewis’s courageous struggle to address the AIDS/HIV pandemic in Africa, community, health care and labour activists in St. John’s, Newfoundland came together for a forum on access to essential medicines.

The issue was addressed by four accomplished panelists, who examined both the local and global implications of this crisis.

Millions of poor people globally are being denied access to life-saving medicines, with the AIDS crisis in Africa being one of the most dramatic examples of this. Here in Canada, many families are facing financial hardship due to expensive but needed medicines.

Forum sponsors included CUPE NL’s Global Justice Committee, OXFAM, the CLC, the AIDS Committee of St. John’s and several other organizations. Panelists included:

  • Mary Coyle, from the Stephen Lewis Foundation on “Living and Dying with AIDS in Africa.”

  • Sister Elizabeth Davis, ex CEO Health Care Corp. of St. John’s on “Providing Affordable Health Care in Canada.”

  • Phil Lundrigan, Vice Chair of the Canadian Treatment Action Council on “The high cost of medicines in Newfoundland.”

  • Marie-Helene Bonin, CLC National Rep. on “How Canada can improve its drug patent legislation.”