[John Rock – Asia Pacific NGO Delegation]
There are a few UBRAF indicators that mention treatment under Goal B1:Universal access to antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV who are eligible for treatment. There is even one output indicator that mentions diagnostics: CD4 point of care (POC) technology for HIV diagnosis or patient monitoring is used. But what truths can be hidden under words like ‘eligible for treatment’, ‘receiving antiretroviral therapy’, or diagnostics ‘being used’?
Help make sure the voices of civil society and communities are heard in determining which ARVs are available and how they are provided in the future
What are the guidelines?
Responding to the emergence of new scientific evidence, WHO is in the process of developing a revised and consolidated set of guidelines related to the use of ARVs for HIV treatment and prevention, prioritising people living with HIV and those who are most at risk of infection, and aiming to accelerate progress towards universal access to HIV diagnostics, treatment, care and support. The guidelines are planned for release in early 2013 – previous versions can be found here.
Deadline: 12 October 2012
Photo: Auntie P
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health invites civil society to take part in the online consultation on access to medicines. Pursuant the Human Rights Council resolution 17/14, the Special Rapporteur is working on a study on existing challenges with regard to access to medicines in the context of the right to health, ways to overcome them and good practices, to be presented to the Council at its twenty-third session in June 2013.
On behalf of the NGO Delegation I thank Michel for this comprehensive report. We share the concerns that overcoming the HIV/AIDS epidemic remains a challenge. The fact that 50% of people eligible for treatment in low & middle income countries are not getting it is an indicator that if there is no massive scale-up of treatment access NOW it is unlikely that we will achieve the target of putting 15 million people in treatment by 2015.
In this sense, the NGO Delegation fully supports the UNAIDS strategy on promoting local production in countries with emerging economies and the least developed countries. Local production of first line drugs have proved to make them available at low prices without affecting their quality, but now it is necessary to extend the local production to the second and third lines – which requires that the barriers of intellectual properties rights be overcome. Therefore we support the Executive Director’s public calls to postpone the IP transition period for the least developed countries beyond 2016 and we urge UNAIDS to take concrete steps towards assisting the countries to make the full use the TRIPS flexibilities which includes promoting the South-to South knowledge and technology transfer.
The Medicines Patent Pool Governance Board and the Medicines Patent Pool Expert Advisory Group (EAG) are calling for board candidate nominations. Full details, documents and official invitation letter are below.
Following recent consultations with civil society organisations, the Medicines Patent Pool Board has decided to appoint one Board member from the communities of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and two additional EAG members drawn from organisations representing communities of PLHIV with expertise in the field of work of the Medicines Patent Pool.
As part of this process we are asking organisations and networks of PLHIV to nominate suitable candidates who fulfil the requirements for the Board or EAG and who would be willing to participate in the governance of the Medicines Patent Pool.
The Governance Board is responsible for financial and strategic oversight of the Pool, ensuring that all regulatory and financial reporting requirements are fulfilled, and approval of any licensing agreement. Further details on the responsibilities of the Board can be found in the Statutes of the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation and in the attached document on the roles and responsibilities of the Board.
The role of the EAG is to provide the Governance Board and the Executive Director with advice regarding Patent Pool licence negotiations and to assess whether the terms and conditions of proposed licence agreements meet the key requirements as set out by the Medicines Patent Pool statutes and Memorandum of Understanding with UNITAID (MoU) and represent a significant improvement over the current situation. Further details on the EAG can be found in the attached document on roles and responsibilities of the EAG.
The PCB reiterated and endorsed the recommendations of the Nairobi Thematic PCB Meeting item on access to drugs, and noted the UNAIDS guidelines on voluntary counselling and testing. In addition, the following issues were emphasized:
The Programme Coordinating Board expresses their appreciation to the Secretariat for organizing the Panel presentations and encourages UNAIDS, in consultation with partners, to explore ways of improving discussions and decisions on strategic, policy, programmatic and other relevant issues (for instance, additional focus on countries with relevance to programmatic issues).