5 October 2011, Geneva - A report “Evidence on Access to Essential Medicines for the Treatment of HIV/AIDS"
shows that access to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has increased dramatically over the last ten years. Political commitment is cited
as the single most crucial driver in helping increase the number of patients receiving treatment. Ten years ago, less than 10%
of people eligible for ART in low and middle-income countries were being treated; today on average 50% of people are being treated.
The report funded by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) provides
insights into what measures can substantially increase ART coverage levels to over 80%. The report studied seven countries from
across the globe (Botswana, Brazil, India, Mexico, Rwanda, South Africa and Thailand) which had used a variety of different
mechanisms to improve access. ”
Political commitment at an international level has enabled an increase in the available resources
in low and middle income countries from $1.6 billion in 2001 to just under $16 billion in 2010. The report states that
political commitment at a national level is equally important and drives other factors important for
success - improving domestic health system infrastructure, securing funding mechanisms,
procurement, overcoming stigma through patient education, as well as establishing
health partnership initiatives with international foundations and the research-based pharmaceutical industry.
Voluntary licensing and other similar arrangements have played a significant role in enabling the provision
of ART treatment with the report singling out differential pricing as more important than TRIPS in increasing access to treatment.
Commenting on the report, Eduardo Pisani, Director General of IFPMA said: “Access to medicines is
clearly a complex and multifaceted issue and the report highlights that a holistic programme is needed to allow the different
components to work together effectively - ranging from the strengthening of healthcare systems right through to prevention
and education initiatives with patients. The report includes the significant contribution from the research-based
pharmaceutical industry and provides insights into how these have worked in practice which will inform the
decision making process of programmes in the future”.
The last decade has seen substantial progress in providing access to HIV patients, with the average
ART coverage at 54% in 2009 compared to 12% in 2003. Eduardo Pisani warns “However going forward it is clear that a
global effort from a wide range of stakeholders is a necessary prerequisite for investing in broadly based HIV/AIDS
strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”
About the IFPMA:
IFPMA manages global initiatives including: IFPMA Developing World Health Partnerships Directory catalogues
the research-based pharmaceutical industry's long-term partnership programs to improve health in developing
countries, IFPMA Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices sets
standards for ethical promotion of medicines, IFPMA Clinical Trials Portal helps patients
and health professionals find out about on-going clinical trials and trial results.
IFPMA represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical
industry’s 1.3 million employees research, develop and provide medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients
worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help
the global health community find solutions that improve global health.
For further information, please contact:
Tel: +32 475 41 09 76