[Ip-health] Civil Society groups call on pharmaceutical companies to put their patents into the Medicines Patent Pool
JHamer at oxfam.org.uk
Wed Dec 15 09:01:20 PST 2010
Please see below for a letter from a coalition of NGOs, sent to CEOs of
the following companies today: Abbott, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers
Squibb, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Roche and ViiV.
15th December 2010
Dear company CEO,
As 2010, the deadline for the achievement of universal access to HIV
treatment, draws to a close, ten million people ? two-thirds of people in
need in the world ? are still awaiting life-saving HIV medicines. We are
writing as a coalition of NGOs to ask you to accelerate [company]?s
efforts to save those lives by licensing your HIV-related patents and data
rights to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), now established as a separate
The UNITAID-initiated patent pool has the potential to significantly
reduce the price of antiretrovirals, speed the creation of essential new
fixed-dose combinations, increase access to newer, more effective
treatments and help stimulate production of child-friendly formulations.
Over 80% of those receiving HIV treatment in developing countries receive
inexpensive and high-quality first-generation generic drugs, lawfully
produced in India. However, the large numbers of patients who are still
awaiting treatment highlight that existing solutions do not go far enough.
An effective patent pool fostering generic competition is an essential
tool in expanding treatment to those in need, and facilitating access to
improved second- and third-generation medicines.
[company] has contributed to improving access to antiretrovirals.
Therefore, we urge you to respond positively to the recent invitation to
formal negotiations with the MPP, and to do all in your power to reach a
full agreement with the pool on the terms of a licence for all relevant
HIV drug patents and related data rights, as soon as possible. We also
urge you to ensure those terms allow access for the millions in need of
treatment in all low- and middle-income countries, and for the terms of
the agreement to be public.
The patent pool is supported by governments and global organisations. The
UK government has recently confirmed its definitive support for the patent
pool as an innovative solution to the treatment access challenge. The US
government signalled its support with the licensing agreement signed with
NIH. The Global Fund, the world?s largest purchaser of antiretrovirals,
called on drug companies to share their AIDS drug patents with the pool
?without delay". NGOs and our public supporters are joined by governments,
the media and patients? groups across the world in our keen attention to
see negotiations swiftly and successfully concluded.
We hope that you will publicly support this innovative initiative. This
voluntary solution can only succeed if companies like [company] commit to
making it work. A lack of cooperation by companies with the pool will be a
clear indicator that a voluntary, collective approach to ensuring access
to life saving medicines is not one [company] supports.
As representatives of NGOs and community groups, we would welcome the
opportunity to meet with you to discuss [company]?s position on the pool.
We look forward to hearing from you about your positive engagement with
Dr. Esther Tallah, UNITAID Board Member, Communities. Cameroon Coalition
Against Malaria. esther.tallah at gmail.com
Mr. Nelson Otwoma, UNITAID Alternate Board Member, Communities. National
Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya.
otwomatom at yahoo.com
Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni, UNITAID Board Member, NGOs. Oxfam.
mkamalyanni at oxfam.org.uk
Ms. Kim Nichols, UNITAID Alternate Board Member, NGOs. African Services
Committee. kimn at africanservices.org
Action Medeor E.V. (Germany)
ACTWID ? Rural Women and Youth Network of Cameroon
African Services Committee
Alianza LAC Global por el Acceso a Medicamentos
American Medical Student Association
Cameroon Coalition Against Malaria
CITAM+ (Community Initiative for TB, HIV/AIDS & Malaria), Zambia
CONERELA+ (Congo Network of Religious Leaders living with or affected by
HIV and AIDS)
Dhruvh ? Social Awareness Forum, India
European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG)
Fundacion Mision Salud de Colombia
Global AIDS Alliance
Global Health Advocates
Gram Bharati Samiti (GBS)
Health Access Network - Ghana
Health GAP (Global Access Project), USA
International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium
Knowledge Ecology International
Médecins Sans Frontières, Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines
National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda (NACWOLA)
National Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya
Partners in Health
Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+)
REMED (Réseau Médicaments et Developpement)
Stop AIDS Alliance
Stop AIDS Campaign
Stop AIDS in Liberia (SAIL)
The Good Neighbour (Nigeria)
Treatment Action Campaign
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
Zambia Association for the Prevention of HIV and Tuberculosis (ZAPHIT)
Liaison officer, Civil Society Delegations to UNITAID Board
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 473508
Mobile: +44 (0)7879 474766
Email: JHamer at oxfam.org.uk
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