Access to treatment: Secretary General and pharmaceutical companies meet
24 July 2006
The UN Secretary General, CEOs from the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies and UN officials met in New York to explore ways in which the companies and United Nations can work collaboratively in expanding access to HIV treatment and care in developing countries.
The meeting represents the first of its kind between both research and development - or ‘brand name’ – pharmaceutical companies, generic development companies and United Nations bodies.
Following the discussion, the Secretary General issued a statement in which he outlined a number of commitments to assist international efforts to ensure universal access to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support, as called for at the High Level Meeting on AIDS held in June 2006.
Among other commitments, the companies committed to continue to review individually their offers of products and the prices of their existing and new HIV medications and diagnostics to make them more affordable and accessible in low-and-middle income countries; and to give greater priority to research and development of new and improved antiretroviral treatments for children – currently extremely lacking in the AIDS response.
The United Nations in turn committed ensuring the continuing revision and updating of key treatment guidelines, to help the companies turn their commitments into action and to continue the work with Governments, donors and the pharmaceutical companies in developing forecasting models to predict demand and supply of HIV medications and diagnostics in developing countries.
In 2001, seven major ‘brand’ pharmaceutical companies first met with the Secretary General to discuss improving affordability and accessibility of HIV medications. Since this time there been significant advances in the global response to AIDS, including in the provision of care support and treatment services in developing countries. Earlier this year WHO and UNAIDS reported that 1.3 million people living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy by the end of 2005.
New York, 24 July 2006
Statement by the Secretary-General on his meeting with Pharmaceutical Executives on HIV/AIDS