Access to Medicines
Access to HIV/AIDS medicines remains a distant goal for millions in Africa, Asian and Latin America living with this incurable but preventable disease. Essential medicines are expensive and of limited availability. An effective response to the global AIDS pandemic must partner the resources and expertise of both the public and private sectors.
Pharmaceutical corporations are major stakeholders in the provision of essential medicines for HIV/AIDS and other opportunistic diseases like TB and Malaria. The Pharmaceutical industry is involved in research for new medicines and vaccines and provides products that improve human health. The industry has however, often been criticized for focusing too much on markets of rich countries and on so-called “me-too” and life-style drugs for wealthy patients while neglecting the needs of millions in poorer countries. In the process, companies have made huge profits. Today, drug companies spend twice as much on marketing their products than on research and development, according to a new study by York University researchers, contrary to the industry’s claim.
Oblates are present in very remote communities where the threat of life threatening diseases is prevalent. A common story about HIV/AIDS from Oblates in the field has been the difficulty ordinary people have in accessing essential medicines. With no health insurance, the majority of people living on $1 per day have to rely on their meager earnings to buy medicines. Often, they go without.
The Oblates have engaged corporations for over fifteen years to improve access to HIV/AIDS and other medicines. More…
Benchmarking AIDS: Evaluating Pharmaceutical Company Responses to Public Health Crisis in Emerging Markets, ICCR, Corporate Examiner, Vol 34, No.6-7, August 2006 (Download PDF)
Investing for Life: Meeting poor people’s needs for access to medicines through responsible business practices, Oxfam America. (Download PDF)
The ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the world of work: “The best single document on HIV/AIDS the UN has produced”, Stephen Lewis, UN special envoy on HIV/AIDS to Africa
Access to Medicines Index: Industry & Stakeholder Review (Download PDF)