HIV-patient organisations in action for affordable HIV treatment in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova

HIV-patient organisations in action for affordable HIV treatment in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova

Project

ITPCru is a regional organization operating in the Russian-speaking countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.This project will increase access to HIV/HCV treatment in this region through research and advocacy actions on intellectual property barriers. Community-based civil society groups in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova will carry out research in the field of intellectual property barriers to second- and third-line antiretroviral medicines and direct-acting antiviral medicines for treating hepatitis C. An integral part of the research will be focused on how the following two methods for eliminating IP barriers – patent opposition and compulsory licensing – can be implemented given the specific country context.
Based on the results of the research, the communities will determine the drug(s) and the strategies which they will apply to increase access to the selected drug(s). The national organizations shall conduct practical advocacy steps to oppose patents and push their governments to issue compulsory licenses in a “learning by doing” mode. Over the project course, training and technical support in the field of IP will be provided. As a result, access to the selected drug(s) shall have been improved.

Project details

Time frame
31 December 2014 - 30 April 2018
Budget
€ 120,000
Active in
Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova

Objectives

Main outcomes:
# Increased capacity of the national patient communities in EECA in the field of IP and treatment access.
# IP barriers for access to treatment eliminated
# Increased awareness of the key decision-makers and the general public regarding IP and access to treatment.

Background

Eastern Europe and Central Asia remains one of the most problematic regions in terms of HIV and HCV epidemic. According to the latest UNAIDS report, the HIV epidemic in the region continues to grow, and the HIV treatment coverage is approximately 25% of all the people in need of treatment. There is a growing need for more expensive 2nd and 3rd line antiretroviral drugs, as patient gradually become resistant to 1st line treatmen. When 2nd and 3rd line drugs are available, the prices for them are very high. The estimated number of people living with HCV in Moldova is 60,000 people. The estimated number of people living with HCV in Kazakhstan is 504,000 people; a rough estimate for Georgia is 200,000 people, though some sources give even higher figures.

The three selected countries are characterized by a number of features which are important for this particular project. They represent middle-income countries with a relatively small absolute number of people living with HIV and HIV/HCV, and at the same time with a patent system which poses a threat to access when it comes to newer HIV/HCV drugs. In the nearest future, there will most likely be a tendency to exclude these countries from voluntary licenses concluded between brand/generic companies or brand companies and/or the Medicines Patent Pool. Even if the countries are included in voluntary licenses (which is usually not the case with Kazakhstan), the price which is likely to be set will be higher than the price which can be achieved through real generic competition. As is the case with all relatively small middle-income countries, brand companies are slow when it comes to registering their drugs in those countries, and fast when it comes to securing patents in them.

Goals

Everyone living with HIV worldwide receives treatment
100%
Contributed within this project

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