What is ViiV Healthcare’s approach to Access to Medicines?
At ViiV Healthcare we are committed to playing our part in addressing access to medicines challenges by taking an innovative, responsible, and sustainable approach.
According to UNAIDS and WHO, 47% (6.6 million) of the estimated 14.2 million people living with HIV eligible for treatment in low- and middle-income countries were accessing antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in 2010. UNAIDS and WHO are committed to reaching 15 million people living with HIV with antiretroviral treatment by 2015 across the world. We recognise that we are a key stakeholder in this global effort, and have a commitment as a company to work with the HIV community to deliver on this commitment. To help meet the pressing need for a global effort to address the barriers to scaling up and treating those in need, we have already launched industry-leading access initiatives, and we are constantly evaluating these programmes to look for ways to improve them even further.
Our access to medicines approach covers all Middle Income Countries, all Low Income Countries, all Least Developed Countries and sub-Saharan Africa, i.e. 135 countries in total. We do this through a variety of approaches, based on the differing needs of people living with HIV in different parts of the world:
Low Income, Least Developed Countries and Sub Saharan Africa – Where 25 million People With HIV/AIDS live (=75% of the total)
In these countries which have the lowest incomes, and/or are hardest hit by the global epidemic, we recognise that there is a global imperative to take action, and, in response, we have a broad and deep approach to improving access to our medications.
We do this by:
- Royalty Free Voluntary Licenses: In 2010, we extended our royalty free voluntary licensing policy for all of our medicines for all Low Income Countries, all Least Developed Countries and all of Sub Saharan Africa. ViiV Healthcare has given 13 voluntary licences for our ARVs to generic manufacturers. These companies are based in a broad range of different locations. We do not charge these partners a royalty for the voluntary licence. In 2011, ViiV Healthcare and its licensees supplied an estimated 717 million antiretroviral tablets. This is the equivalent of approximately 12 months’ supply for over a million people living with HIV.
- Not-for-Profit Pricing: We make our medicines available to governments, NGOs and donor/aid agencies at a no-profit price for these countries.
Middle Income Countries, i.e. Emerging and Newly Industrialised Economies
- Flexible Pricing: In Middle Income Countries, where incomes are higher and infrastructure is more developed, we have a flexible pricing policy which factors in the gross domestic product (GDP) and the impact of the epidemic in each country to improve affordability. In these countries, including some of the fastest growing economies in the world, there is a need for government commitment and accountability to scaling up the national response to the HIV epidemic.
- Local Partnerships: We approach these on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the local needs and situation. One key approach that we take in Middle Income countries is creating partnerships with in-country companies to manufacture our medicines locally – bringing the cost of the therapies down and investing and sharing our expertise to build skills in the local economy at the same time. An example of this is our partnership with Binnopharm in Russia, enabling local secondary manufacture of our ARVs for people living with HIV in Russia.
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