Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Gilead Could Take Small Steps To Increase Access to Antiretrovirals in Developing Countries, Opinion Piece Says
Gilead could take "some simple steps" to provide HIV/AIDS drugs to people in developing countries "at little cost to its bottom line, but an immeasurable gain to humanity," Anne-christine d'Adesky -- executive co-director of Women's Equity in Access to Care and Treatment, which provides HIV/AIDS care to genocide and rape survivors in Rwanda, and author of "Moving Mountains: The Race To Treat Global AIDS," a book about the HIV/AIDS pandemic -- writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece. Gilead's "most effective" antiretroviral drugs -- Truvada and Viread, known generically as tenofovir -- have fewer side effects than other first-line HIV/AIDS treatments and have "shown promise" in HIV prevention, d'Adesky notes. However, the drugs remain "largely unavailable" in generic forms in many African countries and "some hard-hit middle tier countries," such as India, where, if successful, Gilead's application for patent registration would block the generic production of tenofovir until 2018, she writes. "We desperately need Gilead and its shareholders -- thousands of ordinary, good-hearted Americans and other global citizens -- to change course and vote to fast-track access to its drugs," d'Adesky writes, adding, "Without such access, African countries like Botswana face the threat of extinction from [HIV/]AIDS." D'Adesky concludes by asking "Is there a more valuable return on anyone's investment than saving human lives?" (d'Adesky, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/21).
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