The Latest News from Health GAP

Dedicated to eliminating barriers to global access to affordable life-sustaining medications for people living with HIV/AIDS. 

Gilead’s Hepatitis C Medicines License

Troubling Territorial Exclusions,  Illusory Exceptions, and Tiered Pricing Policy Fracture Global Access 

by Professor Brook K. Baker, Northeastern U. School of Law, Senior Policy Analyst Health GAP 

Trade law expert Brook Baker analyzes Gilead's Hepatitis C medicines license and its impacts on access around the world.

"Gilead has just announced and released the text of its license on two direct-acting oral antivirals (DAAs) used to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, sofosbuvir (Sovaldi®) and ledipasvir. The License allows seven Indian generic companies – Cadila Healthcare Ltd., Cipla Ltd., Hetero Labs Ltd., Mylan Laboratories Ltd., Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., Sequent Scientific Ltd. and Strides Arcolab Ltd. – to manufacture, distribute and sell the individual products and a combination pill of the two products in a subset of 91 low- and middle-income countries (see list attached)."

Read the full policy analysis.

Ugandan and International groups call for urgent action by the World Bank to fight discrimination in Uganda's health sector 

Ugandan and International groups today released a letter to World Bank Executive Director Dr. Jim Kim calling for urgent action to address pervasive discrimination in the health sector, especially for LGBTI communities. The World Bank suspended a $90 million loan to Uganda's health sector when the President signed the Anti Homosexuality Act into law. While this anti gay law was recently overturned, discrimination is still alive and well, and is undermining access to lifesaving health services. The organizations are calling for corrective action by the Government of Uganda--before the loan is restarted.

Read the statement [HERE] and the letter [HERE].

Health GAP and partners release a new report: "The Politics of Transition & Economics of HIV/AIDS & PEPFAR in South Africa"

The report accompanies an article forthcoming in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

The report looks at the PEPFAR "transition" in the country--moving from "directly supporting" over 1 million people on ARV treatment in South Africa in early 2011 to a near complete withdrawal from support for "direct services." The report tracks the impact of transition in both of the two main PEPFAR service models: patients in NGO/private clinics who needed to be moved to the public sector as well as those PEPFAR patients already in the public sector when PEPFAR-funded staff, infrastructure, and commodities were pulled out of public clinics.

The report finds that the political transition--toward increased South African ownership and innovative models of shared governance for U.S. funds--is yielding important benefits. 

However, interviews across several months reveal that the transition moved far too quickly and was too often driven by contract end-dates than by the readiness of the public sector. Based on the only public study available, we estimate tens of thousands of people may have experienced care disruption because failed to track patients and ensure support for treatment continuity--though without patient tracking the exact size of the problem is not known. Meanwhile important human resources were lost to the AIDS response at a time when many more are needed.

The report recommends an urgent course correction for PEPFAR South Africa—tracing patients and health workers while considering a more measured approach in the country.  Beyond South Africa the report recommends putting any further transitions on hold and clarifying PEPFAR’s commitment to support direct treatment support in low- and middle-income countries.

Read the full report online.

A copy of the JAIDS editorial can be found online at: http://journals.lww.com/jaids/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=9000&issue=00000&article=97993&type=abstract.