Access to affordable medicines for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
AbstractThis publication was prepared for Twenty-third Meeting of the National AIDS Programme Managers held in New Delhi, India, from 1 to 4 July 2014. The meeting focused on measures needed to further strengthen the health sector response to HIV/AIDS in the South East Asia Region. The successful pursuit of science to win against HIV infection has resulted in a vision of the end of AIDS. As antiretroviral treatment (ART) is scaled up, more people start ART earlier and for prolonged periods of time the consequences of drug resistance to HIV, costly second- and third- line treatments, increased health-care costs, and need for developing newer drugs are important issues. Intellectual property (IP), in particular patents, have been at the centre of the debate on access to affordable medicines for HIV/AIDS. This publication traces IP developments from the inception of the South Africa HIV/AIDS crisis leading to adoption of Doha Declaration for Public Health in WTO in 2001 and the Doha Declaration Para 6 Waiver . The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) flexibilities including compulsory licensing and voluntary licensing options have been examined. Further, present legal landscape changes and challenges including new research and development models are discussed. A number of options for Member States for promoting access to medicines are described. A number of measures are suggested for achieving the goal of access to affordable medicines for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis and for securing the public health needs for all populations beyond 2015. Access to affordable medicines for HIV/AIDS is linked to intellectual property rights, in particular patents. The lessons from the engagement for generic anti- retroviral drugs holds true for many medical products.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2014). Access to affordable medicines for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/204741