Siri Raasch siri at essentialmedicine.org
Thu Jan 23 06:00:06 PST 2014

Permanent link to Rachel's article here: http://bit.ly/1mKETwZ

Please share widely and tweet @WHO and @UAEM as the debate is just starting
now at WHO EB.


*Siri Raasch*
Development Officer
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines <http://uaem.org/>
(612) 710-7465
siri at uaem.org

On Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 8:02 AM, Rachel Kiddell-Monroe <
rachel.k.monroe at essentialmedicine.org> wrote:

> GENEVA, January 23, 2014 - In a meeting with Universities Allied for
> Essential
> Medicines (UAEM), South African Director General of Health Malebona
> Precious
> Matsoso strongly criticized a leaked proposal by the pharmaceutical
> industry
> lobby to undermine access to medicines in South Africa.
> The leaked plan from Public Affairs Engagement, a lobbying firm based in
> Washington, D.C., focused on halting reforms to South Africa's intellectual
> property laws that would expand access to life-saving drugs. The firm
> outlined a
> subversive grassroots campaign to cast doubt on the well-established link
> between patent-protected prices and limited drug access for lower-income
> South
> Africans. US and South African pharmaceutical companies planned to argue
> that
> sick South Africans would benefit more from increased pharmaceutical sector
> income than from securing more affordable treatments for HIV and other
> deadly
> diseases. The leaked lobbying plan warned that PhRMA should avoid allowing
> the South African reforms to become a model for others countries inside and
> outside Africa, including India and Brazil.
> “This is taking us back 18 years,” said Director General Precious Matsoso.
> “Nelson Mandela led the response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa,
> and we
> have made much progress with 2.4 million people on ARVs. Where intellectual
> property is a barrier to access to medicines, countries must protect the
> safeguards that are in the TRIPS agreement in order to save lives.”
> Whatever happens with the leaked plan, DG Matsoso, South African health
> activists, and UAEM members say this furtive campaign raises broader
> concerns
> about the pharmaceutical industry's role in global public health.
> “This PhRMA/IPASA strategy harkens back to the one used over a decade ago
> to block access to affordable AIDS drugs in Africa, “ said Dr. Kavitha
> Kolappa,
> former board member of UAEM and observer at the WHO Executive Board
> meeting in Geneva. “This threatens access to newer medications not only for
> HIV/AIDS, but also for the burgeoning epidemic of chronic diseases.
> Literally
> millions of lives are at stake here." At a time when we are facing a double
> burden
> of infectious and non-communicable diseases, we must act swiftly against
> barriers to access for life-saving medications.
> As the WHO Executive Board meets today to discuss a resolution concerning
> access to medicines, UAEM encourages all Member States to stand in
> solidarity
> with South Africa and its proposed reforms to protect the lives of the
> world’s poor.
> For Press Inquiries: Contact Bryan Collinsworth, UAEM Executive Director
> bcollinsworth at essentialmedicine.org
> Rachel Kiddell-Monroe
> Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
> www.uaem.org
> @access2rachel
> "Charity is no substitute for justice withheld," Saint Augustine.
>  <http://www.uaem.org>
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