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video-advocacy on medicines development | active member | 2017 – current

Partner: NGO Praksis – Programs Of Development Social Support & Medical Cooperation

Project Coordinators: Marianella Kloka, Apostolos Kalogiannis 

About: produce two short documentaries about clinical trials and orphan drugs as a tool to raise awareness on medicines development and open science

Two documentaries, four protagonists and a central issue: medicines. “Clinical Studies: Another kind of dialogue” and “Orphan Drugs” are the two short documentaries that have been edited and completed by a group of volunteers sharing their passion for human rights and cinema. Should we treat medicines as a social good or as a consumer product? Does the current model of research and development of medicines cover our needs? What we call orphan drugs and why do they cost a fortune? Production is owned by the nonprofit PRAKSIS, while The Storytelling gene directed and edited the films.

Role&Tasks: I joined the praksis access project as an active citizen who would like to learn more about medicines development and how to produce a film. The project was completed in a year. Since then, members of that team together with the coordinators formed themedsproject initiative. We are a group of active citizens who work on access to affordable medicines. Our goals is to inform, raise awareness, and mobilize the general public through video advocacy. We open the dialogue using as tools the two short documentaries. We strongly believe that health and medicine must be social goods.

During the documentaries development, I attended to the biweekly meetings to learn about medicine’s development and film production. We co-developed the script and I participated to interviews with stakeholders, in the film production and on translating interviews from English to Greek and vice versa, creating the subtitles and other related tasks. I created a communication plan to communicate the project and we co-organise events for screening the film and open the dialogue until today.

Watch the documentaries here free online:

Clinical Studies: Another kind of dialogue – https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/clinical-studies-another-kind-of-dialogue-2542/

Orphan Drugs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNAzAD6JnDM

What stays in my memory: Having Worked on this initiative, it stays clear in my memory how important is to create a solid organisational structure, with roles and job descriptions in order to create an impact. If the team is not bonded and roles are not defined, the impact is random. Also, it has been inspiring to get familiar with the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research which Prof. Silvio Garattini. funded and direct. The Institute focus on independent research with no interest in the product, they focus in solving the problem.

praksis access: https://praksisaccess.org/ &  themedsproject: https://www.facebook.com/themedsproject/