2019 Unsung Heroes: Priti Krishtel and Tahir Amin
Priti Krishtel and Tahir Amin
Co-Founders and Executive Directors
The Initiatives for Medicines, Access and Knowledge
The Initiatives for Medicines, Access and Knowledge (I-MAK) is an organization of lawyers, scientists and health experts taking on a $1 trillion global industry to make medicines affordable and ensure life-saving drugs reach families struggling to afford treatment.
I-MAK works to address the root driver of deepening health care disparities around the world: pharmaceutical companies’ abuse of the patent system and pricing monopolies, which keeps medicines out of reach for millions.
I-MAK is led by co-founders Priti Krishtel, a 15-year veteran of the global access to medicines movement, and Tahir Amin, an attorney with more than 25 years of experience in intellectual property law.
To date, I-MAK has successfully challenged the abuse of pharmaceutical companies in India and China, while also assisting a number of other organizations do the same across the world. It is now bringing its fight to
Krishtel and Amin work to champion the rights and voices of underrepresented people and vulnerable populations. I-MAK has worked on 33 treatments for 16 diseases, including HIV, diabetes and cancer.
Krishtel and Amin have led the organization in a way that centers and prioritizes gender equity and diversity. In 2018, their staff grew to be 50% women and 50% people of color. Further, they grew their board of directors intentionally to counter the traditional nonprofit board profile, which is predominantly male and white, according to the latest research from BoardSource.
Krishtel and Amin know that inclusion and diversity are critical to a successful organization, and that has proven true for I-MAK. Through diversity, in both personal and professional backgrounds, I-MAK’s team approaches its issues and strategy with a richness of perspectives, allowing for broader community outreach, nuanced analysis and an overall stronger organizational foundation.
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