RedLAM Newsletter

Argentina adds a 4th key goal to ‘90-90-90 strategy’ against HIV/AIDS: 90% of treatments at affordable prices

Last August 31st, officials from Argentina’s Ministry of Health met to discuss and build a new state policy on HIV/AIDS and declared that the national adoption of the ‘90-90-90’ strategy promoted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and UNAIDS to address the problem of HIV/AIDS will have an extra fourth goal of 90% of antiretroviral treatments at affordable prices. The proposal was considered by the United Nations as a world example.

Fundación Grupo Efecto Positivo (FGEP) played a key role in the discussions prior to the meeting, suggesting the adoption of this fourth goal and other strategies such as joint purchases, strategic procurement mechanisms through PAHO and the use of health safeguards (TRIPS) included in Argentina’s national patent law. These contributions adopted by government authorities are a direct result of FGEP’s experience in the field and its years of effort and direct actions against the monopolies generated by illegitimate patents on medicines and the very high costs that they entail.

Read more on the adoption of this key fourth goal for the response against HIV/AIDS in Argentina here.


Brazil’s Patent Law reform: public hearing at the House of Representatives

On October 20th there was a public hearing on the current patent law reform in Brazil. The hearing took place in the Committee on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJC) of the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia. The patent law, which defines the conditions under which monopolies on medicines are created and maintained, is currently being reviewed. On the one hand it represents an opportunity to strengthen pro-health mechanisms, but it could also mean major setbacks. It all depends on the priorities defined by CCJC deputies: either public or private interest.

Organizations such as WGIP/ABIA, which support the adoption of the patent law’s reform, provided data and evidence (see WGIP’s presentation) showing that the current patent system has not generated innovation but actually has enabled and protected patent holders’ abuses, allowing them to establish high prices and barriers to access to medicines in Brazil.

Read more about Brazil’s patent law reform and WGIP/ABIA’s presentation here (portuguse original here).



Through IFARMA, RedLAM requests access to direct-acting HepC ARV to be declared of public interest in Colombia

Last October 29th, the Latin American Network for Access to Medicines (RedLAM, in Spanish) through its partner organization IFARMA, asked the Colombian Ministry of Health to declare access to direct-acting ARVs for the treatment of Hepatitis C of public interest, including active ingredients such as telaprevir, boceprevir, sofosbuvir, Simeprevir, Daclatasvir, faldaprevir, ledispasvir, dasabuvir, ombitasvir, elbasvir, gazoprevir, paritaprevir, ombitasvir and all active ingredients from the same therapeutic group to be produced in the future for such treatment. These products represent a significant improvement in treatment options for Hepatitis C, but the commercial cost severely threatens access to them and the financial sustainability of health systems worldwide and, especially, the already fragile health system in Colombia.

The purpose of the request is to ensure: first, the opportunity to declare a compulsory license if the product already has a patent and thus reducing prices at reasonable levels, and second, the possibility for potential generic manufacturers to enter the market if the products’ patent status is not yet clear. If a patent is granted afterwards it could be ‘neutralized’ by a compulsory license.

Read the full document with the request to declare access to direct acting antivirals for treatment of Hepatitis C of public interest here (in Spanish).


Peru TPP protest

‘Asociación Internacional por la Salud’ Association and Peruvian civil society reacted to the signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Based on documents leaked by Wikileaks, especially the chapter on intellectual property, civil society organizations in Peru, led by Acción Internacional para la Salud (AIS), voiced their opposition to the TPP agreements made in the last round of negotiations held in Atlanta. With media interventions and through press articles, AIS firmly expressed its position on second uses patents, protection of test data for biological drugs and the extension of the protection of new clinical information, which are major factors that would negatively affect access to medicines.

See TV interviews with representatives of AIS here and here. Read their published statements here and here.


Encuentro Equipos Salud

FGEP led a discussion panel on issues related to access to medicines in the National Health Teams’ Meeting in Argentina

Fundación Grupo Efecto Positivo (FGEP) led the public debate on medicines’ public policies at the National Health Teams’ Meeting, organized by Argentina’s Ministry of Health on October 1st-3rd in Buenos Aires. The event brought together more than 7,000 health workers, officials and activists and became an opportunity to discuss with authorities, civil society and the general public key issues related to access to sustainable quality health in Argentina.

FGEP had a prominent participation on October 3rd at the Discussion Panel on Medicines’ Public Policies. At the panel, FGEP’s Executive Director Mrs Lorena Di Giano presented key arguments on this issue that were celebrated by other panel members: the importance of the discussion of pharmaceutical patents as a barrier to access for the defense of health sovereignty; the essential role of Argentina’s new guidelines for patentability examination of pharmaceutical patent applications in preventing abuses from multinational companies; and the risk posed by the new HIV/AIDS treatment guidelines promoted by international organizations which point to a greater medicalization of the the population.

Read more about FGEP’s participation in the National Health Teams’ Meeting here.