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  1. 1
    323501
    Peer Reviewed

    AIDS: can we meet the 2010 target?

    Senior K

    Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2008 Jan; 8(1):14.

    A report from the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) warns that meeting the "near universal access target" to AIDS drugs access by the 2010 deadline will require an enormous effort by governments, global agencies, and drug companies. According to the report, which looked at AIDS treatment access in 14 countries, "scale-up is working but high prices, patent and registration barriers, and ongoing stock-outs are core issues impeding AIDS drug delivery". "The issues highlighted in this report are real and widespread", said Nathan Ford of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF; Johannesburg, South Africa). The HIV programmes run by MSF across the developing world are struggling against user fees, high drug costs, lack of human resources, and poor health infrastructure, he told TLID. The ITPC, a group of 1000 treatment activists from more than 125 countries, highlights that the high cost of antiretroviral drugs is a particular barrier in Argentina, China, and Belize. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    299619
    Peer Reviewed

    Acess to AIDS medicines stumbles on trade rules.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2006 May; 84(5):337-424.

    Developing countries are failing to make full use of flexibilities built into the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to overcome patent barriers and, in turn, allow them to acquire the medicines they need for high priority diseases, in particular, HIV/AIDS. First-line antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for HIV/AIDS have become more affordable and available in recent years, but for patients facing drug resistance and side-effects, second-line ARV drugs and other newer formulations are likely to remain prohibitively expensive and inaccessible in many countries. The problem is that many of these countries are not using all the tools at their disposal to overcome these barriers. Medicines protected by patents tend to be expensive, as pharmaceutical companies try to recoup their research and development (R&D) costs. When there is generic competition prices can be driven down dramatically. The TRIPS Agreement came into effect on 1 January 1995 setting out minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property, including patents on pharmaceuticals. Under that agreement, since 2005 new drugs may be subject to at least 20 years of patent protection in all, apart from in the least-developed countries and a few non-WTO Members, such as Somalia. Successful AIDS programmes, such as those in Brazil and Thailand, have only been possible because key pharmaceuticals were not patent protected and could be produced locally at much lower cost. For example, when the Brazilian Government began producing generic AIDS drugs in 2000, prices dropped. AIDS triple-combination therapy, which costs US$ 10 000 per patient per year in industrialized countries, can now be obtained from Indian generic drugs company, Cipla, for less than US$ 200 per year. This puts ARV treatment within reach of many more people. (excerpt)
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