[Ip-health] Civil Society Urgently Calls on Pharmaceutical Companies to Join the Medicines Patent Pool

Daniel Hougendobler dah93 at law.georgetown.edu
Sun Dec 2 15:19:56 PST 2012

Hello all,

I apologize, a few people have let me know that the conversion to
plain text removed the list of signatories.  I've included it below.
Please let me know by this Friday (7 Dec.) if you'd like to be

ACT UP San Francisco
Africa Regional Platform on Health
American Medical Student Association
Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations
Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS
Health Poverty Action
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
Pan-African Treatment Access Movement
Stop AIDS Campaign
Student Global AIDS Campaign
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
World AIDS Campaign


On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM, Daniel Hougendobler
<dan.hougendobler at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello all,
> Please find below a statement, signed by a group of civil society
> organizations, demanding that pharmaceutical companies quickly enter
> into and conclude negotiations with the Medicines Patent Pool.
> Please feel free to share widely with organizations who may want to
> sign.  We will continue to accept signatures on the letter until
> Friday, 7 December at which point we will send the letter to
> pharmaceutical companies.  If you'd like to add your organization's
> signature, please email me at dah93 at law.georgetown.edu.
> Best,
> -Dan
> ------------------------------------------
> World AIDS Day 2012: Civil Society Urgently Calls on ViiV, Bristol
> Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson and Other Drug Companies to Join the
> Medicines Patent Pool Under Terms and Conditions that Ensure Access to
> Treatment for All
> In 2011, UNAIDS’ call for Zero New Infections, Zero Discrimination and
> Zero AIDS-Related Deaths was echoed around the world. This World AIDS
> Day, we, the undersigned organizations, are encouraged that according
> to UNAIDS, new HIV infections have dropped dramatically in hard-hit
> countries and treatment rates continue to rise.  We urge governments
> worldwide to accelerate the scale-up of HIV treatment as we fight to
> fulfill the UN mandate to reach 15 million people with access to
> life-saving medication by 2015.
> To break the back of the epidemic, we must go further, and faster. For
> these initial gains to continue, costs—particularly for second- and
> third-line treatment—must be reduced significantly. Second-line
> treatments cost 6 times more than first-line regimens, while
> third-line treatments cost 14 times more.[1] Nearly all patients will
> eventually need to move to newer and better treatments as they
> naturally develop resistance to their first-line therapy. Without
> enormous price reductions, the high cost of drug company monopolies on
> life-saving drugs will break the bank for treatment and set back the
> gains made toward Universal Access.
> In 2010, backed by civil society mobilization and support, the
> Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) was launched by UNITAID to negotiate
> licenses on patented drugs with pharmaceutical companies to
> dramatically reduce costs. We condemn companies that are trying to
> incorporate restrictive and dangerous terms and conditions in
> voluntary licenses, either in negotiations with the MPP or in the
> current wave of closed-door negotiations for industry-driven,
> secretive voluntary licenses. Companies have actively sought
> conditions that implicitly or explicitly restrict generic competition,
> almost always leaving out people living with HIV/AIDS in middle-income
> countries where the epidemic is growing fastest.
> For example, Johnson & Johnson’s recently announced decision not to
> enforce its patent rights for darunavir in low-income countries and
> sub-Saharan Africa is woefully inadequate, denying access to patients
> in middle-income countries. HIV/AIDS patients in Brazil for instance
> will continue to have to pay over $6000 USD per person per year for
> this drug alone. We demand that, in order to make an actual impact on
> promoting access rather than merely enhancing its public image,
> Johnson & Johnson put its drug patents in the MPP without exclusionary
> conditions that leave out poor people, regardless of national income
> rankings.
> Companies cannot hide behind donation and discount programs. Only
> transformative change in the global R&D system and stronger limits on
> companies’ monopolistic behavior will ensure that all people living
> with HIV in the developing world have access to the same affordable
> and effective treatment that those living with HIV in more developed
> countries currently enjoy. Generic competition is the best way to
> reduce the cost of treatment. Putting patents for HIV medicines into
> the MPP without restrictions on low- and middle-income countries is
> the minimum companies must do.
> Therefore, we demand that:
> ·      Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, and ViiV,
> who have already entered into negotiations with the Medicines Patent
> Pool, conclude these negotiations quickly and on terms that ensure
> access for all the world’s poor;
> ·      Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson/Tibotec, and Merck
> immediately join negotiations with the Medicines Patent Pool;
> ·      All companies agree to licenses that provide coverage to all
> poor people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries
> without restriction;
> ·      Companies refrain from seeking restrictions on the use of TRIPS
> flexibilities or limits on the manufacturing capacity of either raw
> materials (APIs) or full compounds;
> ·      All licenses that patent-holding companies sign with generic
> companies be made public.
> Failure to comply will result in scaled-up, global campaigns for
> compulsory licenses, local generic production and other remedies that
> ensure all patients in need are reached at the lowest cost.
> We request to meet with representatives of the companies named above
> to discuss how negotiations can be entered into and concluded as soon
> as possible on terms that put patients first.
> ________________________________
> [1] http://utw.msfaccess.org/background

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