To fulfil its mission of scaling up access to medicines in developing countries, UNITAID has elaborated an implementation plan for an HIV/AIDS medicines patent pool.
The Global Fund has just approved the roll-out of the pilot phase of a facility to reduce prices for effective malaria medicines (AMFm). The Pilot phase will take place in nine African countries and Cambodia and be funded through US$216 million.
The bulk of that funding comes from UNITAID - US$ 130 million - the rest from the United Kingdom government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Efforts to Combat AIDS Need to Be Strengthened, not Diminished
UNITAID welcomes and fully supports the new Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) report 'Punishing Success? Early Signs of a retreat from Commitment to HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment', a timely plea for global leaders to remain firmly committed to achieving universal treatment coverage for people living with HIV/AIDS.
UNITAID welcomes the creation of ViiV Healthcare, a joint venture established by pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer aiming to improve access to HIV treatment. "In particular," said Dr Jorge Bermudez, UNITAID's Executive Secretary, "we applaud the new venture's goal of being collaborative. In that regard, we invite ViiV to enter into discussions with us on ways in which they might contribute to the development of our patent pool."
Push for the patent pool
Médecins Sans Frontières - Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines
This first implementers' meeting brought together policy makers, programme managers, and implementing partners. The consultation aimed to engage countries, to draw on their experiences of UNITAID-funded projects, and to stimulate discussions on challenges and opportunities. The consultation also offered an occasion for implementing partners to share experiences and gain insights from the country perspectives, thus providing a platform for countries to offer valuable input to inform UNITAID's future approaches and actions.
UNITAID welcomes and supports the publication of 'The Treatment Timebomb', a report on access to HIV/AIDS treatment in the developing world, compiled by the United Kingdom's All Parliamentary Group on AIDS, launched at the House of Commons, London.
Presentation at the Innovation Fair at ECOSOC 2009:
The UNITAID HIV/AIDS Medicines Patent Pool
An innovative tool for Access and Innovation
by Ellen 't Hoen
Thursday 9th July 2009 at 1.30pm
Palais des Nations, Geneva