Posts tagged access to medicines

"I didn’t want to be another statistic of TB." Phumeza endured incredibly arduous treatment for her extensively drug-resistant TB. Now she is asking for better care for all TB patients. Sign the TB Manifesto:http://www.msfaccess.org/TBmanifesto/Photo by Sydelle Willow Smith

"I didn’t want to be another statistic of TB." Phumeza endured incredibly arduous treatment for her extensively drug-resistant TB. Now she is asking for better care for all TB patients. Sign the TB Manifesto:http://www.msfaccess.org/TBmanifesto/
Photo by Sydelle Willow Smith

This statement by Bayer CEO sums up everything that is wrong with the multinational pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical companies are singularly focused on profit and so aggressively push for patents and high drug prices. Diseases that don’t promise a profit are neglected, and patients who can’t afford to pay are cut out of the picture. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Read our response:http://ow.ly/sS4Uc

This statement by Bayer CEO sums up everything that is wrong with the multinational pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical companies are singularly focused on profit and so aggressively push for patents and high drug prices. Diseases that don’t promise a profit are neglected, and patients who can’t afford to pay are cut out of the picture. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Read our response:http://ow.ly/sS4Uc

Damaging intellectual property rules in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) would give pharmaceutical companies longer monopolies over brand name drugs. Companies would be able to charge high prices for longer periods of time. And it would be much harder for generic companies to produce cheaper drugs that are vital to people’s health. We need your help:http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/take-action/tpp/

Damaging intellectual property rules in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) would give pharmaceutical companies longer monopolies over brand name drugs. Companies would be able to charge high prices for longer periods of time. And it would be much harder for generic companies to produce cheaper drugs that are vital to people’s health. We need your help:http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/take-action/tpp/

The announcement by the French government to prioritize global health research and development is an important step toward making sure life-saving drugs and medical tools are developed and delivered to the people who need them most. We call on additional governments to set up similar financial transaction taxes and to follow the French government’s move to dedicate a portion of the revenue to respond to neglected health needs. Every day in our work, we witness firsthand the failures of today’s health research and development system that does not deliver adequately for people in developing countries.

Sophie Delaunay, Executive Director, MSF-USA, in response to the French government’s announcement that a portion of the financial transaction tax they have decided to implement will be dedicated to global health research and development.

The announcement was made by Fabienne Bartoli, Social Development Counselor at the French Mission to the United Nations at the MSF/Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative conference on R&D for neglected populations in New York, December 13, 2012.

Indonesia has shown that countries can and should take action to enable the production of low-cost versions of essential life-saving medicines for their citizens.

Michelle Childs, Director of Policy Advocacy for the MSF Access Campaign.

On 3 September, the Government of Indonesia issued a ‘government use’ decree - a type of compulsory licence that lifts a patent restriction on generic production - on seven drugs used to treat HIV and Hepatitis B. The drugs which are subject to the orders include efavirenz, abacavir, tenofovir, lopinavir/ritonavir, didanosine, and fixed-dose combinations tenofovir/emtricitabine and tenofovir/emtricitabine/efavirenz.  

The Presidential decree, if implemented fully, will allow for local generic production of the medicines - which will open up competition, and could significantly reduce prices - while each of the innovator companies will be paid a royalty of half a percent. There are 310,000 people living with HIV in Indonesia.

"Indonesia has set an important precedent, not just for the people living with HIV within its country, who have been campaigning for this, but also for other developing countries", said Ms. Childs. "This is one of the widest licences issued by a government and rightly reflects the reality that a range of treatment options are needed."

"As medicines for HIV and Hepatitis B are increasingly under patent in developing counties, Indonesia has shown that countries can and should take action to enable the production of low-cost versions of essential life-saving medicines for their citizens. The next step is full implementation of the decree. Other countries faced with blocks on access to generic medicines should consider following Indonesia’s lead", Ms. Childs added.

It’s a myth that every patent application that is filed is valid. When you look closely, a patent application may fail one or more of the legal tests it needs to pass. The idea behind this database is to help civil society and patient groups stop unwarranted patents from blocking people’s access to more affordable medicines.
Michelle Childs, Director of Policy Advocacy for MSF’s Access Campaign, on the launch of an online database to help civil society and patient groups in developing countries challenge unwarranted drug patents.
This decision once again affirms that courts can and should act in the interest of public health in the case of pharmaceutical products.
Indian court case crucial for cancer sufferers

India’s Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a long-running legal case about drug patents. Swiss drug maker Novartis is fighting for exclusive rights to produce its blockbuster cancer drug, Gleevec. If it wins, that will change the rules for generic drugmakers who supply millions of poorer patients in India and elsewhere. It’s also sparked a wider debate about the affordability of life-saving drugs.

Listen to the report from American Public Media’s Marketplace.

Photo: A child suffering from cancer in New Delhi, India. Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

Indian court case crucial for cancer sufferers

India’s Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a long-running legal case about drug patents. Swiss drug maker Novartis is fighting for exclusive rights to produce its blockbuster cancer drug, Gleevec. If it wins, that will change the rules for generic drugmakers who supply millions of poorer patients in India and elsewhere. It’s also sparked a wider debate about the affordability of life-saving drugs.

Listen to the report from American Public Media’s Marketplace.

Photo: A child suffering from cancer in New Delhi, India. Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

Novartis: the world is watching you, and we are not standing by silently. #STOPnovartis

Take action: http://www.msfaccess.org/STOPnovartis

Novartis is challenging the part of India’s patent law that says that a new form of an existing medicine can only be patented if it shows significantly improved therapeutic efficacy. This would stop the process of “evergreening” that lets pharma companies keep their patent longer than the original 20-years intended. 

This graphic shows how evergreening poses a real threat to accessing life-saving medicines.

Take action: http://www.msfaccess.org/STOPnovartis

Novartis is challenging the part of India’s patent law that says that a new form of an existing medicine can only be patented if it shows significantly improved therapeutic efficacy. This would stop the process of “evergreening” that lets pharma companies keep their patent longer than the original 20-years intended.

This graphic shows how evergreening poses a real threat to accessing life-saving medicines.

Take action: http://www.msfaccess.org/STOPnovartis

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Living in Fear and Uncertainty


While Lebanon has absorbed tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict in neighboring Syria in recent months, many people are living in overcrowded conditions, suffering psychological distress, are fearful for their safety, and are unable to afford medical care, said the international medical humanitarian organization MSF in a report released today.

The MSF report, Fleeing the violence in Syria: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon, details the living conditions and health of the refugees and the major challenges facing them, including access to housing, food, water, sanitation, health care, and security. Most refugees are settling in economically disadvantaged regions of Lebanon, placing an additional burden on already overstretched resources. Gaps are appearing in refugees’ access to medical care, particularly hospital care and treatment for chronic diseases.Photo: An MSF family doctor examines a young Syrian patient.
Lebanon 2012 © Nagham Awada/MSF

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Living in Fear and Uncertainty

While Lebanon has absorbed tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict in neighboring Syria in recent months, many people are living in overcrowded conditions, suffering psychological distress, are fearful for their safety, and are unable to afford medical care, said the international medical humanitarian organization MSF in a report released today.

The MSF report, Fleeing the violence in Syria: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon, details the living conditions and health of the refugees and the major challenges facing them, including access to housing, food, water, sanitation, health care, and security. Most refugees are settling in economically disadvantaged regions of Lebanon, placing an additional burden on already overstretched resources. Gaps are appearing in refugees’ access to medical care, particularly hospital care and treatment for chronic diseases.

Photo: An MSF family doctor examines a young Syrian patient. Lebanon 2012 © Nagham Awada/MSF

The Need For Urgent HIV and TB Treatment in Myanmar. 


Tens of thousands of people living with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in Myanmar are unable to access lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART), a dire situation exacerbated by the recent cancellation of a new round of funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

“Lives in the Balance,” a report from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), outlines the situation for people affected by HIV and tuberculosis (TB), with a special focus on multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), in Myanmar today. It calls for urgent funding and assistance to be made available by the international donor community to help Myanmar close the devastating gap between people’s need and people’s access to treatment for HIV and TB.
Infographic by Will Owen

The Need For Urgent HIV and TB Treatment in Myanmar.

Tens of thousands of people living with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in Myanmar are unable to access lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART), a dire situation exacerbated by the recent cancellation of a new round of funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

Lives in the Balance,” a report from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), outlines the situation for people affected by HIV and tuberculosis (TB), with a special focus on multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), in Myanmar today. It calls for urgent funding and assistance to be made available by the international donor community to help Myanmar close the devastating gap between people’s need and people’s access to treatment for HIV and TB.

Infographic by Will Owen

Novartis’s Day in Court Set for July 10, 2012

India’s Supreme Court will now begin hearing a challenge to the country’s patent law by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis on July 10, 2012.The Novartis Supreme Court case is the final act in a legal battle that stretches back six years and has significant ramifications for India’s future capacity to produce low-cost generic medicines for its people, and for patients across developing countries.


Given the possible implications for generic production and the availability of affordable medicines from India, MSF, along with other treatment providers, patient groups and affected communities, has appealed to Novartis to drop its case against the “pharmacy of the developing world”.


MSF launched a social media campaign calling for Novartis to stop its legal attacks against India which threaten access to medicines for its patients. To participate in the Stop Novartis campaign, visit www.msfaccess.org/STOPnovartis WE NEED YOUR HELP!SIGN THIS PETITION TODAY!

Novartis’s Day in Court Set for July 10, 2012 India’s Supreme Court will now begin hearing a challenge to the country’s patent law by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis on July 10, 2012.

The Novartis Supreme Court case is the final act in a legal battle that stretches back six years and has significant ramifications for India’s future capacity to produce low-cost generic medicines for its people, and for patients across developing countries.

Given the possible implications for generic production and the availability of affordable medicines from India, MSF, along with other treatment providers, patient groups and affected communities, has appealed to Novartis to drop its case against the “pharmacy of the developing world”.

MSF launched a social media campaign calling for Novartis to stop its legal attacks against India which threaten access to medicines for its patients. To participate in the Stop Novartis campaign, visit www.msfaccess.org/STOPnovartis

WE NEED YOUR HELP!
SIGN THIS PETITION TODAY!

The pharmaceutical company Novartis continues to put profits above people by challenging a seven-year old Indian court ruling that, if overturned, would have a devastating effect on access to generic forms of essential medicines, including HIV medications, in the developing world.

#STOPNovartis

Access to Medicines: India Offers First Compulsory License
Groundbreaking Move Sets Precedent for Overcoming Drug Price Barriers

In a landmark case, the Indian Patent Office has issued the first-ever compulsory license in India to a generic drug manufacturer. This effectively ends German pharmaceutical company Bayer’s monopoly in India on the drug sorafenib tosylate, used to treat kidney and liver cancer.

The Patent Office acted on the basis that Bayer had not only failed to price the drug at an accessible and affordable level, but that it had also failed to ensure that the medicine was available in sufficient and sustainable quantities within India.

“We have been following this case closely because newer drugs to treat HIV are patented in India, and as a result are priced out of reach,” said Dr. Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of the Doctors Without Borders Access Campaign. “But this decision marks a precedent that offers hope: it shows that new drugs under patent can also be produced by generic makers at a fraction of the price, while royalties are paid to the patent holder. This compensates patent holders while at the same time ensuring that competition can bring down prices.”

Competition from the generic version will bring the price of the drug in India down dramatically, from over US$5,500 per month to close to US$175 per month — a price reduction of nearly 97 per cent.

Access to Medicines: India Offers First Compulsory License

Groundbreaking Move Sets Precedent for Overcoming Drug Price Barriers

In a landmark case, the Indian Patent Office has issued the first-ever compulsory license in India to a generic drug manufacturer. This effectively ends German pharmaceutical company Bayer’s monopoly in India on the drug sorafenib tosylate, used to treat kidney and liver cancer.

The Patent Office acted on the basis that Bayer had not only failed to price the drug at an accessible and affordable level, but that it had also failed to ensure that the medicine was available in sufficient and sustainable quantities within India.

“We have been following this case closely because newer drugs to treat HIV are patented in India, and as a result are priced out of reach,” said Dr. Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of the Doctors Without Borders Access Campaign. “But this decision marks a precedent that offers hope: it shows that new drugs under patent can also be produced by generic makers at a fraction of the price, while royalties are paid to the patent holder. This compensates patent holders while at the same time ensuring that competition can bring down prices.”

Competition from the generic version will bring the price of the drug in India down dramatically, from over US$5,500 per month to close to US$175 per month — a price reduction of nearly 97 per cent.