Access Denied - Parliamentarians sound warning on future of AIDS response

Access Denied - Parliamentarians sound warning on future of AIDS response

UK, December 2014 - Universal access to the medicines essential to an effective AIDS response is still far from being achieved in the developing world and under increasing threat in a number of critical areas, a cross-party group of MPs and Lords reported recently.

The report, Access Denied, was launched in Parliament on World AIDS Day and is the product of an almost year-long inquiry into the availability and affordability of drugs and diagnostics across the developing world. According to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS, despite notable success in the global AIDS response, access to medicines is threatened by withdrawal of funding in middle-income countries, the imposition of ever stricter rules on intellectual property, a failure to reach key population groups like LGBT people, sex workers and people who inject drugs, and insufficient R&D for child-friendly anti-retrovirals and treatments for HIV co-infections like TB.

Access Denied report calls for:

  • Review of funding decisions affecting middle income countries
  • Global Fund leadership on Hepatitis C treatment
  • Action to support use of TRIPS flexibilities to overcome high medicine prices
  • Review of patent-based R&D model

STOPAIDS, which submitted evidence to the inquiry, welcomed the report findings. Director Ben Simms said,

“This report shows that the fantastic progress we’ve made in scaling up access to treatment and turning the tide in the AIDS epidemic masks some deeply worrying challenges and growing threats. We are failing to reach key population groups, witnessing a building crisis in middle income countries around pricing and resources, seeing trade deals threaten global access to medicines, and persisting with an approach to medical innovation that excludes billions of the world’s poor.
“We urge the government, the WHO, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and other institutions named to act upon the recommendations outlined in this cross party report, or see our once in a lifetime opportunity to put the world on track to ending this epidemic slip away.”

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