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India's central role in AIDS medicines supply could be threatened by trade agreements,new study says

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Geneva, 14 September 2010 A new study to be published today reveals that Indian generic manufacturers have supplied more than 80% of donor-funded AIDS medicines to developing countries in the last seven years.  However, it warns that upcoming trade agreements India is currently negotiating may close the tap on affordable medicines for AIDS patients.  The news coincides with a global funding crisis in the area of AIDS while at the same time new clinical evidence demonstrates that greater investments are needed to address the disease.
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Patent Pool News

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The UNITAID Executive Board adopted a resolution on December 15 2009 that gave the go ahead for the establishment of a legal entity to house the Medicines Patent Pool. UNITAID has committed to provide funds of up to US$ 4 million in 2010 for the start up, subject to the approval of the budget.

On 5 February 2010, the UNITAID Executive Board met again to discuss outstanding matters, including an analysis, carried out by the Secretariat, of the appropriate legal structure for the Pool and its relationship with UNITAID. The resolution following this meeting can be found here.

UNITAID is now working on the necessary legal documents and action steps for the establishment of the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation.

Read the Executive Summary of the implementation plan in English or/ou en Français.

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UNITAID STATEMENT ON THE MEDICINES PATENT POOL

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The UNITAID Medicines Patent Pool Initiative has been met with a great degree of interest at the International AIDS Conference this week. 

The medicines patent pool will be managed by the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation (MPPF), which will soon open for business and will be in a position to begin formal negotiations with the patent holders. The Medicines Patent Pool Foundation will initially focus exclusively on antiretrovirals (ARVs).

Discussions with a number of key ARV patent holders over the past few months have been encouraging. Some patent holders have expressed considerable interest in the initiative, and have been commended for that, including in the recently published Access to Medicines Index. However, contrary to some of this weeks media reports, no licensing agreements have been reached with any patent holders; recent and current conversations with the patent holders have been preliminary to the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation becoming fully operational.

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The Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development 2010 Report to the Taskforce

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Globalizing Solidarity: The Case for Financial Levies

"Innovative financing mechanisms have demonstrated their potential for securing additional resources for distribution to low-income countries. The success of the air ticket solidarity levy, as well as the governing body of revenue (UNITAID, International Drug Purchase Facility) has shown it is possible to meet long-term needs through non-traditional financing mechanisms."

Read the full report here, or visit the website: http://www.leadinggroup.org/article668.html.

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WHO Note on the potential stock-out of paediatric ddI

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The HIV/AIDS Department of WHO has issued a note to National AIDS Programmes, procurement agents, and stakeholders on the potential stock-out of paediatric ddl 25mg and 50mg buffered tablets. In the note, WHO recommends a series of short-term actions to minimize the impact of a potential stock-out of paediatric ddl 25mg and 50mg. In addition, a number of longer-term actions are also recommended with the aim of rationalizing the use of ddl products in children in line with the new WHO normative guidance on the use of ARVs in second-line therapy.
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Additional contribution from France for 2009

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The French Government has recently announced that their contribution to UNITAID for 2009 has been increased by an additional 31.5 million Euros.

The total French contribution for 2009 is then 141.5 million Euros.

Thank You to France.

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MORE COUNTRIES SHOULD APPLY SOLIDARITY AIR LEVY TO COMPLEMENT FUNDING FOR GLOBAL HEALTH

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SECURE FUNDING KEY TO KEEP EXPANDING TREATMENT FOR PEOPLE WITH AIDS, MALARIA AND TB 

Geneva, 10 June 2010 At a meeting which ended last night, the Executive Board of UNITAID approved a plan to step up efforts to enlist more countries to apply a solidarity levy on air tickets to provide additional funding for the health Millennium Development Goals. The Board approved a number of resolutions, among them the final phase of the establishment of a medicines patent pool, but a situation of depleting funds raises concerns for the many patients currently being treated by UNITAID.

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UNITAID Response to Bristol Myers Squibb Interrupted Production of HIV Medicines for Infants

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Geneva 7 June 2010 UNITAID is deeply concerned that the provision of a key paediatric AIDS medicine produced by Bristol Myers Squibb will be interrupted in June 2010 until at least April 2011. The medicine, didanosine 25 mg and 50 mg, is supplied by UNITAID through the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to between 4,000-7,000 infants in 40 countries. Interruption of treatment would seriously jeopardize these young children's survival.

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