New Analysis From 14 Countries Identifies Drug Access Priorities to Achieve 2010 AIDS Treatment Target
November 27, 2007
Dr. Jim Kim joins teleconference to release report with ITPC. Kim says foundations laid by AIDS response are "the best chance we've ever had to build comprehensive health systems in the poorest settings."
New York and Cape Town -- The International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), a group of 1,000 treatment activists from more than 125 countries, today issued its fifth report on scale up of AIDS services: Missing the Target #5: Improving AIDS Drug Access and Advancing Health Care for All. The report is available at www.aidstreatmentaccess.org.
The comprehensive report investigates AIDS drug access in 14 countries and finds that scale up is working but high prices, patent and registration barriers, and ongoing stock-outs are core issues impeding better and faster AIDS drug delivery.
"The foundations to make the 2010 target are in place in many countries. If governments, global agencies, and drug companies focus on tactically improving AIDS drug access by continually lowering costs, ending patent and regulatory problems, and fixing drug availability logistics, while simultaneously strengthening health systems, there is real possibility for making the 'near universal access' target by 2010" said Gregg Gonsalves, a coordinator of the project.
Missing the Target teams in nine countries -- Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Russia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe -- also looked at broader issues in AIDS service delivery in their countries. "AIDS treatment scale up cannot succeed without stronger health systems, adequate nutrition, and concerted action against stigma and marginalization," said Matilda Moyo of the Zimbabwe research team.
"Mobilization around AIDS has opened up fantastic new possibilities in health service delivery by infusing new resources, intensifying the engagement of people living with HIV/AIDS, and focusing on specific, measurable outcomes," said Dr. Jim Yong Kim, Director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights (FXB) at Harvard University. "We must learn from and build on these foundations because they represent the best chance we've ever had to build comprehensive health systems in the poorest settings."
"It is irresponsible to get bogged down in debates on simplistic dichotomies like prevention versus treatment or disease-specific funding versus strong health systems. We can, and we must, do all of this, better, for more people, and in an increasingly coherent way," added Chris Collins, a coordinator of the project.
"The UNAIDS epidemiologic estimates released last week show that we're getting closer to reaching the goal of treatment for all," said Shona Schonning of the Russia research team. "The UNAIDS report shows that prevention and treatment programming have had impact. Now its time to scale up these programs and continue to make progress on what remains a devastating epidemic."
In the report, civil society advocates in 14 countries identify specific problems and recommend solutions to improve AIDS drug access:
Action Recommendations for Global Agencies and National Governments
This article was provided by International Treatment Preparedness Coalition.