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Important Advances in Pediatric AIDS Drug Development December 3rd, 2014
World AIDS Day saw two important announcements regarding development of much-needed pediatric AIDS drugs. This is an issue on which the Oblates and other faith-based investors in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have pressed pharmaceutical companies on for years. Since most pediatric AIDS patients are in poor, developing countries, the usual market incentive for drug development does not exist. And, the development of pediatric AIDS drugs, particularly for infants, is challenging. ICCR members have actively encouraged the major pharmaceutical companies to participate in the Medicines Patent Pool, a mechanism established under the auspices of the UN to ‘pool’ patents for drugs to make existing formulations more readily available for generic production and for innovative fixed dose combinations to be developed.
On Monday, World AIDS Day, Abbvie announced a licensing agreement for lopinavir (LPV) and ritonavir (r), top World Health Organization-recommended medicines for children. The license will enable other companies and organizations to re-formulate and manufacture specially designed LPV/r and r pediatric treatments for distribution in low- and middle-income countries where 99% of children with HIV in the developing world live. [Abbvie is a spinoff of Abbott Laboratories that contains the research-based pharmaceutical business.]
On the same day, the HIV Medicines Research Industry Forum announced that the forum is joining PEPFAR, the Global Fund, and the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI) in the newly established “Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action” to accelerate innovation and save children’s lives. The initiative is designed to accelerate the development of new, high-priority pediatric ARV co-formulations for first- and second-line treatment by 2017.
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International OMI JPIC Representatives Meet in Rome November 9th, 2014
JPIC representatives from the various Oblate regions met in Rome last week to share about the work being done, and to strategize for the future. Fr. Kennedy Katongo, OMI, as the new international JPIC Director, planned and facilitated the meeting.
International Monetary Fund Releases Plans to Stop Predatory Hedge Funds October 6th, 2014
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released new proposals for preventing predatory hedge funds and hold-out investors from blocking debt restructurings. The paper proposes a series of reforms to debt contracts, including strengthened collective action clauses and a modification of the pari passu clause that hold-out hedge funds used to sue Argentina.
“In the wake of debt restructurings in Argentina and Greece, the IMF is incredibly concerned about vulture funds,” stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty coalition, Jubilee USA Network. “The IMF is advocating a market approach, but we also need a statutory approach. We need to change both the contracts and the laws.”
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Victory at the UN! September 9th, 2014
Despite a disappointing no vote from the United States, the UN General Assembly earlier today voted 124 – 11 to begin negotiations for an international bankruptcy process to end global inequality. The process can potentially stop vulture funds from preying on vulnerable countries and create a global economy that serves all of us.
Unfortunately, the United States government was one of only 11 countries to vote against this treaty process. While the US government is against predatory behavior, they are against this approach. We have much work left to do because today’s UN vote will not outlaw global predatory activity in the United States, one of the most important financial jurisdictions.
Read Jubilee USA’s press release and analysis of the vote here.
Yesterday, we asked you to contact United States UN Ambassador Power and urge her to support the resolution, and we thank everyone who spoke out on this issue. Thousands of faxes, calls and emails were sent to Ambassador Power in response to this request from Jubilee USA and Network members. Churches, synagogues, the AFL-CIO and dozens of Catholic religious orders joined you and amplified our message.
We will continue to update our network on this important issue. For information and analysis on the international debt, please visit Jubilee USA
Please Support UN Resolution for an International Bankruptcy Process September 5th, 2014We would like to share this prayer and action request from our colleagues at Jubilee USA. JPIC Director, Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI co-signed the recent Jubilee letter on this issue to Ambassador Power:
On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly could vote on a resolution to not only stop vulture funds, but to actually prevent the world’s poorest economies from defaulting. A majority of countries support it – thanks to the work we have done together, the world is largely united against predatory behavior.
Yesterday, Jubilee’s executive board officers sent a letter to the United States UN Ambassador Samantha Power urging her to support this resolution.
Please pray for Ambassador Power as she weighs her vote, and we hope your entire faith community will pray for the UN process this weekend. We would be honored if you would share your prayers with us by replying to this email.
This resolution is an opportunity to win a financial reform Jubilee USA has championed since our inception: an international bankruptcy process for countries. As the Argentina case highlights so clearly, we need a bankruptcy system to stop predators and end the specter of default. Winning this resolution moves us closer to building an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable.
Thank you for your prayers and support.