[Ip-health] Fwd: UNAIDS Statement on Trade Negotiations/Access to Medicines

Matthew Kavanagh matthew at healthgap.org
Tue Jul 28 08:43:23 PDT 2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hofmann, Regan <hofmannr at unaids.org>
Date: Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 10:48 AM
Subject: [FAPP] UNAIDS Statement on Trade Negotiations/Access to Medicines

Dear Colleagues,

Below, please find UNAIDS statement on the need to ensure that trade
agreements currently in negotiation do not impede access to medicines.


UNAIDS calls on trade negotiators to uphold governments’ commitments to
public health and access to medicines

*GENEVA, 28 July 2015—*As the world celebrates the achievement of reaching
15 million people with HIV treatment and commits to ending the AIDS
epidemic by 2030, UNAIDS reminds countries of the urgent need to ensure
that new trade agreements under negotiation do not impede access to

In the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, adopted unanimously by the
UN General Assembly, governments reiterated their commitment to the use of
existing flexibilities under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, specifically geared to promoting access
to and trade of medicines, and to ensure that intellectual property rights
provisions in trade agreements do not undermine these existing
flexibilities, as confirmed by the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement
and Public Health.

“The flexibilities established in the Doha Declaration and the TRIPS
agreement to protect public health and provide access to medicines for all
should be fully respected during the negotiation of new trade agreements,”
said UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé. “We are entering a crucial
phase of the AIDS response which will decide whether we end the epidemic as
a public health threat by 2030. Anything that undermines that response must
be avoided.”

Various trade agreements are currently in negotiation and concerns have
been expressed that they could involve so-called ‘TRIPS-plus’ measures such
as broadening patentability criteria and extending patent duration.

Trade negotiators from 12 countries are currently working to conclude the
text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which includes an
intellectual property chapter that reportedly contains provisions going
beyond what is required under the TRIPS Agreement. Such “TRIPS-plus”
provisions could make generic competition more difficult and lead to higher
drug prices. There is also concern that any TRIPS-plus provisions agreed in
the TPP are likely to influence future trade agreements.

Generic competition in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the use of
intellectual property flexibilities, have helped make prices for
life-saving drugs much more affordable and enabled the unprecedented scale
up of HIV treatment programmes.

“The imperative over the next five years is to diagnose millions of people
living with HIV and get them access to the life-saving medicines they
need,” said Mr Sidibé, “The right to health must not be negotiated away for
trade gains.”

If the global AIDS response is to attain the 90-90-90 treatment target by
2020 – 90% of people living with HIV knowing their status, 90% of people
who know their status on treatment, and 90% attaining viral suppression –
HIV treatment must be accessible and scale-up must be financially


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires
the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero
discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of
11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO,
UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national
partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Learn more at unaids.organd
connect with us on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/UNAIDS> and Twitter
Best regards,



Regan Hofmann

Policy Officer,  U.S. Liaison Office


1889  F. St., NW,  Suite 350,  Washington, DC 20006

Tel: +1 202.719.5520

Cell: +1 202.406.0217

Uniting the world against AIDS

For additional information regarding the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership
please visit http://federalaidspolicy.org/.
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Matthew  Kavanagh
Health Global Access Project
t +1 202 355-6343 // m +1 202 486-2488

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