[Ip-health] Dhaka Tribune: Six NGOs urge Obama to extend pharma transition period
sangeeta at twnetwork.org
Fri Oct 23 02:39:07 PDT 2015
Six NGOs urge Obama to extend pharma transition period
Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Oxfam America, Health Gap, Knowledge Ecology
International, Public Citizen, Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment and
Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network have sent a letter to Obama
this week to consider the issue for the LDCs.
³We strongly urge the US to take immediate
steps to express its full and unconditional support for the LDC Group¹s
request for a pharmaceutical transition period for as long as they
remain LDCs,² the letter said.
The NGOs said in the letter that they believed
the LDCs¹ request for a pharmaceutical transition period for as long as
they remain as LDCs will receive unconditional support from WTO
The European Union has publicly supported the
LDCs¹ request and the UN and international agencies including WHO,
UNITAID, UNAIDS and UNDP, suppliers of generic medicines to LDCs, and
civil society organisations from across the world have unequivocally
supported the LDCs¹ request, it said.
³We fail to understand why the US alone
continues to oppose LDCs¹ demand a legally sound and justified request
for a pharmaceutical transition period for as long as they remain
LDCs,² the letter said.
LDCs are the most vulnerable and poorest segment of the international
According to the United Nations, more than 70%
of the LDC population lives on less than $2 per day and an estimated
252 million people live in hunger.
World Bank data from 2014 reports that only
36% of the least developed countries have access to improved sanitation
facilities while 68% have access to improved drinking water source.
As of 2012, two thirds of people in LDCs lacked access to electricity.
In 2014, Gross National Income per capita for LDCs was $915 compared to
$55,200 for the United States.
In 2001, the Doha Declaration on The Agreement
on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and
Public health which exempted LDCs from pharmaceutical product patenting
until January 1, 2016, had a hugely positive impact in improving access
to affordable treatment.
It enabled LDC governments, donors and the
international community to treat more HIV/AIDs patients. However the
treatment gap continues to be massive, as 63% of the 10.7 million people
living with HIV in LDCs do not have access to antiretroviral (ARV).
Non-communicable disease is another growing
challenge for LDCs as its prevalence increases and treatments are simply
unaffordable, especially as most of the medical expenses in LDCs are
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