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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Implications for Access to Medicines and Public Health

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In recent years, the number of bilateral and regional trade negotiations has been increasing. Many of these negotiations involve both developed and developing countries, and the ensuing free trade agreements often contain extensive provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights. These provisions usually impose a higher level of protection for intellectual property rights than is required under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS Agreement. These so-called “TRIPS-plus” provisions delay generic market entry and competition. As such, they run counter to UNITAID’s efforts to increase the affordability of, and access to, medicines and other medical products.

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WHO Hepatitis C Treatment Guidelines: UNITAID Urges Efforts to Improve Diagnosis as Key to Increase Access to Medicines

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Geneva – 9 April 2014 – The World Health Organization’s (WHO) new Guidelines on Treatment of Hepatitis C  recommending the use of the newly available and vastly improved medicines for hepatitis C are very much welcome. Increasing competition for production of the new medicines is needed to significantly reduce the currently prohibitively high prices to enable access for the up to 30 million people which WHO estimates are in need of treatment. However, screening and diagnosis of vulnerable populations to identify patients and build market intelligence will be vital to encourage new manufacturers to enter the market. For now, screening and diagnosis are too complex and expensive for large-scale use in middle-income countries where over 75% of the disease burden lies. These were some of the conclusions from UNITAID’s HIV Market Forum, a gathering of global HIV experts, held in Geneva 7-8 April.

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UNITAID Releases the first HIV/AIDS Medicines Technology and Market Landscape Technical Report

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UNITAID has released its first HIV/AIDS Medicines Technology and Market Landscape Technical Report
This comprehensive study reviews access  to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in low and middle- income countries based on extensive medicine technology and market analyses.
This Report highlights critical market shortcomings, underlying reasons for market failures and potential approaches to correcting them. 

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Study calls for new funders to join UNITAID for WHO Prequalification

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16 January 2014An academic study to be published in the Journal of Public Health Policy on January 16th, written by four experts in international public health, calls for more donors to invest in the World Health Organization’s Prequalification Programme (PQP) - the only global quality assurance programme for medicines. UNITAID is the main funder of this vital service, which has improved quality of medicines for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis used by millions of people in developing countries.

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UNITAID launches its first intelligence report on the malaria vector control commodities, technology and market landscape

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Geneva – 04 December 2013. In the run up to the publication of the World Malaria Report, UNITAID has published its first market intelligence report on vector control products for the prevention of malaria. The 2013 Malaria vector control commodities technology and market landscape provides an overview of vector control approaches and the global trends in coverage and use, with a particular focus on long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS). It includes an overview of the current LLIN and IRS technology and market landscapes, and a high-level perspective on barriers to delivery and access.

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President Hollande calls for innovative financing as a solution for global insecurity

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25 September 2013 - Innovative financing for development can provide the public goods needed to end global poverty, which provides a fertile breeding ground for violence and insecurity, according to French President François Hollande in his speech to the opening session of the 68th Session of the United Nations in New York.

Calling international development one of our “best weapons” to fight global instability, President Hollande made a plea for new innovative financing mechanisms:

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Interview with President Jacques Chirac about UNITAID

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1. What inspired you to set up UNITAID?

Unitaid was born of my conviction, shared with my friends President Lagos of Chile and President Lula of Brazil, that we could not achieve the Millennium Development Goals if we continued to use the same old methods of intervention. After the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development, which I was determined to attend even though I was in the middle of my re-election campaign in France, I asked one of our most brilliant economists, Jean-Pierre Landau, to give me some specific proposals for action. Everybody knew that conventional government aid was insufficient to address the numerous development challenges in our globalized world. We needed to take action. And that is what I did.

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