June 20, 2014
This article was reported by the The Washington Post.
The Washington Post reported that on June 17, the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool kicked off an initiative in conjunction with other agencies to encourage major drug companies to manufacture and distribute HIV drugs in the correct formulation for children. While the United States has nearly eliminated pediatric HIV through the use of drugs for pregnant women, Medicines Patent Pool Executive Director Greg Perry notes that fewer than 25 percent of the 3.4 million children with HIV/AIDS globally -- most living in sub-Saharan Africa -- are receiving the antiretroviral therapy they need. The pills often are too big for small children, have an unpleasant taste, and contain alcohol. Joining in the initiative are UNITAID and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. Drug manufacturers Gilead and Bristol-Myers Squibb have agreed to share knowledge, and the initiative is in talks with Merck and AbbVie.