[Ip-health] NGOs and patient groups call upon Chilean President, Minister of Health to issue a compulsory license for cancer and Hepatitis drugs

Kim Treanor kim.treanor at keionline.org
Wed Dec 6 09:57:04 PST 2017


NGOs and patient groups call upon Chilean President, Minister of Health to
issue a compulsory license for cancer and Hepatitis drugs
6 December 2017

Contact: Kim Treanor kim.treanor at keionline.org; 202-332-2670

Patient groups, civil society and concerned individuals from Chile and
around the world call upon President Michelle Bachelet Jeria and Dr. Carmen
Castillo Taucher, Minister of Health, to issue a compulsory license for
patents on HCV and prostate cancer medicines.

A letter signed by these groups and individuals, and submitted today was
the latest in a series of efforts to increase access to medicines in Chile.

In January of 2017, the Cámara de Diputados of the Chilean Congress voted
in favor of a resolution calling upon the Chilean government to issue
compulsory licenses for medicines which treat cancer and other diseases.
Following this, in March of 2017 the NGO Innovarte with members of civil
society and patient groups including Fundacion Nuevo Renacer, the Colegio
de Quimico Farmaceuticos de Chile, and members of the Chilean Congress,
including Diputados Giorgio Jackson, Karla Rubilar, Miguel Alvarado, and
Gabriel Boric, Victor Torres, and Eugenio Tuma submitted a formal request
to the Chilean Ministry of Health that the government use its authority
under Chilean law to end patent monopolies on the prostate cancer drug
enzalutamide (U.S. brand name Xtandi) and on sofosbuvir-based combination
drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV).

To date, the Ministry has not acted on the request, and treatments for
Hepatitis C and prostate cancer remain unaffordable and out of reach to

Luis Villarroel of Innovarte stressed the urgency of the situation, saying
“From a point of view either from health and human rights or finances, the
lack of action on the part of the Chilean authorities has no justification.
The Ministry of Health seems to be proud in the case of Hepatitis C to
provide next year the treatment with sofosbuvir only to 2600 patients at a
cost of more of 18,000,000 dollars, while at the same time leaving
unattended many thousands of  patients who need the same medicine. This is
a shame that should be corrected by the President Michelle Bachelet  with
no delay.”

With only a few months left in the current administration, President
Michelle Bachelet Jeria has the opportunity to create a lasting impact in
the lives of patients by increasing access to medicines at affordable

The petition submitted today is signed by 29 international non-governmental
organizations and coalitions from all over the world, including Knowledge
Ecology International, Oxfam, International Treatment Preparedness
Coalition, Health Action International, RedLAM, and others, as well as
individual academics and advocates.

Kim Treanor
Knowledge Ecology International
kim.treanor at keionline.org
tel.: +1.202.332.2670 <(202)%20332-2670>

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