The Latest News from Health GAP

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

Analysis of the ViiV/Medicines Patent Pool Dolutegravir Patent Licenses

This paper provides a detailed analysis of the effective geographical scope of the recently announced adult and pediatric between the Medicines Patent Pool and ViiV Healthcare covering dolutegravir, an important integrase inhibitor. In addition to providing a comprehensive analysis of the effective geographical scope of the licenses, taking into account both the formally licensed territory and territories where ViiV patent rights would not be violated by sales of dolutegravir, the paper also analyses other key aspects of the licensing agreements.

Although the effective geographical scope is broad, it is not as inclusive of middle-income countries as desired (coverage 93.4% for adults, 99.3% for children). Excluded countries and their supporters should demand inclusion, but even in the absence of voluntary action by ViiV, countries can use oppositions to pending and granted patents (where available) or compulsory licensing to gain access to this medicine and its combination with other ARVs.

Read full paper here


Analysis: 10 Grave Flaws, Myths & Outright Lies That Plagued Rosemary Namubiru’s Court Case

Released by: International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA) • Health GAP • Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV (UGANET) • Uganda Health Sciences Press Association (UHSPA)

Rosemary Namubiru, a 64 year old nurse at Victoria Medical Center, was tried, convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for criminal negligence‘ arising from an incident where she was pricked by a needle while administering medicine to a 2 year old patient, and may have accidentally reused that needle on the child after bandaging her pricked finger. The judgment was severely flawed and will be appealed by Namubiru.

Namubiru is HIV positive. The child quickly received post exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and subsequent HIV tests have indicated the child did not contract HIV as a result of the incident. This was a workplace error that warranted appropriate action by her employer and the relevant professional council. How did Uganda reach a point where such a flawed judgment and harsh criminal sentence could be handed down from court?

Because of Namubiru's HIV status, shameful sensationalization by the media, and outright lies by the prosecution, police, and the media, Rosemary never got a fair hearing in Court.

Download the analysis: What went wrong? 10 Grave Flaws, Myths & Outright Lies That Plagued Rosemary Namubiru’s Court Case

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.