In her latest piece on the New York Times’ “Opinionator” blog, author and journalist Tina Rosenberg argues that the terms of Gilead’s recent agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool is “confirmation of a dangerous new trend: middle-income countries as a target market for drug makers.” “The new strategy is to treat people in Egypt, Paraguay, Turkmenistan or China â€“ middle-income countries, all â€“ as if they or their governments could pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year each for AIDS drugs. This low-volume high-profit strategy might make business sense. But in terms of the war against AIDS, it means surrender,” she writes.
South Africa Could Reduce HIV-Associated Long-Term Costs, Extend Lives With Earlier Treatment, Study Says
If South Africa followed WHO recommendations for earlier therapy for people living with HIV, thousands of lives could be extended and the country would start saving money after 16 years, according to a study recently published online in PLoS One, United Press International reports.
“Upbeat new HIV prevention findings presented last week at an international AIDS conference held in Rome have complicated attempts by the World Health Organization (WHO) to draft much-anticipated guidelines for heterosexual couples in which one partner is infected,” ScienceInsider reports.
“In the absence of the anticipated guidance from WHO, the euphoria felt by participants at Rome that the latest science can allow us for the first time to consider eliminating HIV was tempered by utter confusion among program managers as to what to do next,” Nathan Ford, medical coordinator for…
BBC News on Sunday looked at how Rwanda’s national circumcision campaign, which began in December 2010 to help lower the incidence of HIV in the country, is testing a new “device called a PrePex, a three-piece mechanism consisting of two plastic rings and an elastic mechanism.” The device “is clamped onto the penis without any need for sutures or anesthesia” to remove the foreskin.
Medicines Patent Pool Can Help Many But Has Potential Limitations For AIDS Drug Access In Middle-Income Countries
In a post on the New York Times’ “Opinionator” blog, author and journalist Tina Rosenberg writes about the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and describes how it can help purchase AIDS drugs for “vast numbers of people.” She also notes “its most serious potential weakness” â€“ that drug companies join because they hope that giving earlier drug access to more countries will reduce pressure for access in middle-income countries. Rosenberg highlights a recent agreement with Gilead Sciences, which “only covers very poor countries. It leaves out Egypt, China, Brazil, plus dozens of other developing countries. Current AIDS drug prices in these countries are six or seven times the price of drugs in sub-Saharan Africa. Without help from the patent pool, these countries have little hope of expanding antiretroviral coverage” (7/21).
“Scientists on Wednesday wrapped up their biggest forum in the 30-year history of AIDS, unveiling stunning weapons to prevent the spread of HIV,” Agence France-Presse reports about the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome. The article summarizes study findings presented at the conference, including research on treatment as prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), male circumcision, and flushing out latent reservoirs of HIV in the “quest for a cure” (Ingham, 7/20).
A new report showing “research funding for four key HIV prevention options â€“ preventive vaccines, microbicides, PrEP and operations research related to medical male circumcision” â€“ increased in 2010 compared with 2009 “is certainly good news, but we cannot rest on our laurels,” Margaret McGlynn, president and CEO of the…
“Scientists have now provided revolutionary tools to roll back HIV but only a major funding boost, supported especially by emerging giant economies, will determine the outcome,” according to experts speaking in Rome at the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, Agence France-Presse reports.
The 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention taking place in Rome this week “started optimistically as the hype surrounding the use of antiretroviral treatment to prevent HIV infection gained momentum. But the focus of much discussion â€¦ will undoubtedly be on how to transform the recent promising research findings into workable policy,” PlusNews reports (7/18).