[health-vn] APACHA appeal to UNITAID: UNITAID's Reply
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Wed Feb 3 02:12:30 EST 2010
Subject: [AIDS ASIA] Re: APACHA appeal to UNITAID: UNITAID's Reply
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 10:42:52 -0000
From: AIDS_ASIA-owner at yahoogroups.com
Reply-To: AIDS_ASIA at yahoogroups.com
To: AIDS_ASIA at yahoogroups.com
UNITAID Reply to APACHA
Mr. Mohammad Kamal Hossain
Asian People's Alliance for Combating HIV & AIDS
Email: secretariat.asia at apachanet.org
Geneva, 7 January 2010
UNITAID is an international drug purchase facility to accelerate access
to high-quality drugs and diagnostics for HIV/AIDS,
malaria and tuberculosis in high-burdened countries. UNITAID is hosted
and administered by the World Health Organization
Dear Asian People's Alliance for Combating HIV & AIDS,
Thank you for your letter sharing your thoughts and concerns regarding
the UNITAID Patent Pool Initiative. We take very seriously the input of
civil society, which has long played such a central role in improving
access to medicines for those who need them most.
I have carefully reviewed the issues you have raised, and wanted to
share with you that many of these issues were discussed extensively
during deliberations of the UNITAID Executive Board on the Patent Pool
Initiative at its 11th Session.
I hope you will agree that consideration of your concerns is reflected
in the resolution (UNITAID/EB11/2009/R5) approved by the Board to create
the Patent Pool (attached).
As specified in UNITAID's Constitution and reiterated in its
recentlyadopted Strategy 2010-2012, UNITAID supports "the use by
countries of compulsory licensing or other [TRIPS] flexibilities."
The Board reaffirmed this support in its resolution, stressing that "the
Patent Pool will not inhibit in any way countries' abilities to use
In addition, the Board recognized the potential public health benefits
"from the increased availability and affordability of ARVs needed in
developing countries as a result of the successful establishment of a
voluntary patent pool."
The aim of the Patent Pool will be to provide benefits to all low- and
middle income countries, which is consistent with UNITAID's Constitution.
>From its inception, the Patent Pool has benefited from and been shaped
by the support and engagement of civil society organizations around the
globe in particular through the NGO and Communities board delegations.
I would like to invite you to work with the NGO and Communities
delegations on our board to ensure that our ongoing work on the patent
pool can benefit from your input.
I hope that we can continue our dialogue to achieve our shared goal of
building a Patent Pool that will deliver benefits for all.
Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy
[The following is a copy of the message APACHA send to UNITAID]
The UNITAID Board Chair
Dr Philippe Douste-Blazy
Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for Development
UN Under-Secretary- General
APACHA appeal to UNITAID
Asian People's Alliance for Combating HIV & AIDS (APACHA), the largest
people's alliance in Asia, is concerned about few issues that have
lately surfaced regarding the UNITAID patent pool.
We welcome and support the idea of patent pool and feel that it is one
great initiative to support the people living with HIV in the developing
countries, who are in need of medicines. However, the latest comments by
drug companies participating in the patent pool have come in such a way
to deny support to the PLHIV in many of the developing countries,
especially in Asia.
Companies are reluctant to include the Asian countries like India, China
and Thailand as well as Latin American countries like Brazil to their
list of countries that will have access to license for producing generic
APACHA believes that this will practically defeat the entire idea of
patent pool and will be against UNITAID's commitment to ensure access to
medicine for PLHIV in all the developing countries. We demand that no
country should be discriminated and denied licensing through the patent
The licensing for manufacturing generic drugs should not be only
confined to few companies that serve the interests of the big
multinational companies, but need to be extended to all the companies,
who deserve and have capacity to manufacture such drugs.
As a largest multi sector network against HIV & AIDS in Asia, APACHA is
concerned about the people living with HIV in the region. Not licensing
the drug companies in India, China, Thailand or other countries will
mean UNITAID turning its back to the millions of people in need of
medicines in Asia.
As the UNITAID board in meeting on Monday to decide on how the pool will
work, APACHA appeals UNITAID board not to give in to the demands of
multinational drug companies and deprive millions of PLHIV living in the
developing countries in Asia, who are in need of HIV medicines.
Mohammad Kamal Hossain
Asian People's Alliance for Combating HIV & AIDS (APACHA)
Phone: +977-01-4721982, 4721277, 4721278 Fax: +977-01-4720926
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