IHP news 474: Access to medicines

By on June 15, 2018

FT Health – HIV treatment breakthrough boosts GSK


An innovative treatment for HIV, which uses two drugs instead of the normal three, has proved effective in a major clinical trial, in a big boost for its manufacturer ViiV, a division of GlaxoSmithKline. The trial, called Gemini, could significantly enlarge GSK’s share of the $20bn a year market for HIV treatment, with analysts predicting sales of at least £1.1bn annually by 2025. …”

Health Policy Watch – Health Advocates Concerned On Francophone Africa Quality Medical Products Initiative


Public health advocacy groups from Africa and elsewhere have sent a letter raising “serious” concerns about a declaration from a recent conference on access to quality medical products in francophone Africa. At issue is the “Declaration on the occasion of the International Conference on Access to Quality Medicines and Other Medical Products in Francophone Africa,”agreed on 22 May alongside the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva. The declaration was hailed as positive steps by African leaders and others at the time (HPW, Africa, 23 May 2018). But some 20 mostly francophone African civil society organisations sent a letter dated 8 June to UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Secretary Geneval Michaëlle Jean, with a cc to the United Nations Development Programme and the World Health Organization. In the letter, they argue that the declaration: did not focus sufficiently on access to medicines, duplicates existing instruments or commits countries to instruments that francophone countries did not negotiate, confuses counterfeiting with substandard and falsified medical products, and is heavily influenced by the industry-funded Chirac Foundation. They also argue that health ministers who agreed the declaration reached outside their responsibility by bringing in other international instruments.”

Devex – Deal slashes drug price of 3 in 1 pill for people living with HIV


News from late last week. “People living with HIV will soon have access to a much less expensive three in one combination therapy for fighting tuberculosis, to which they are particularly susceptible. UNITAID and Indian pharmaceutical company CIPLA have entered into an agreement that allows the latter to slash the prices of its drug, Q-TIB, by 30 percent. This means that a person living with HIV will soon have access to a full month’s worth of the drug for only $1.99.Thanks to the agreement between UNITAID and CIPLA, the three in one pill will only be 15 percent more expensive than if the drugs were bought separately,” UNITAID Executive Director Lelio Marmora told Devex ahead of the announcement on Friday.”

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