Improve access to AIDS drugs in the developing world
With your help, we can end the AIDS epidemic in the next decade.
Of the 33.3 million people who are currently living with HIV/AIDS, only 6.6 million are being treated. Recent studies prove that access to treatment prevents transmission of HIV/AIDS. But the high price of AIDS drugs prevents millions from receiving life-saving treatment.
A recent innovative mechanism called the Medicines Patent Pool encourages pharmaceutical companies to produce generic HIV/AIDS medicines at affordable prices. Thus far the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the pharmaceutical company Gilead have joined the Medicines Patent Pool. Five other pharmaceutical companies are in negotiations.
Merck, which hold the patents for two essential AIDS medicines, refuses to negotiate with the Medicines Patent Pool. Merck also severely limits the accessibility of cheaper generic versions to its life-saving drug raltegravir.
We urge Merck to:
i) Significantly expand the number and scope of generic licenses for its drugs, efavirenz and raltegravir. While there are several paths to this life-saving end, joining the Medicines Patent Pool is one option with many public health benefits.
ii) Ensure that the resulting generic licenses for efavirenz and raltegravir include all middle and low-income countries.
iii) Guarantee that the resulting licenses place no access-limiting restrictions on the procurement of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API).
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