ITPC is delighted to be named one of three successful grantees of a new three year investment from Unitaid to increase access to medicines, which we will be delivering through our Make Medicines Affordable campaign.
Affordable medicines are both a human right and essential for a sustainable response to the three diseases that the campaign will focus on – HIV, hepatitis C, and TB.
Intellectual property (IP) barriers and abuses of the current patent system are the primary reason for overpriced drugs. The system is being exploited by profit-motivated pharmaceutical companies at the expense of public health budgets and citizens. Therefore, tackling IP barriers is essential if countries are to effectively fund the response and achieve the SDG health targets and the 90-90-90 goal to end the AIDS epidemic.
Our work will build on our previous three years’ success, led by civil society, also supported by Unitaid. Civil society has proven to be a significant player in challenging IP barriers, producing annualized cost savings of $472m in the previous phase, representing a return on investment of nearly 100x. This was achieved through directly opposing unmerited patents in legal challenges, strengthening national laws and patent examination processes to prevent low quality patents and working with governments to fully use the TRIPS flexibilities when necessary. This new grant will allow our work to expand from 4 to 17 countries (see below).
Achieving long-term change and our goal of affordable medicines for all requires sustained investment. We are grateful that Unitaid recognizes this as a critical, and highly effective, area of work.