Several Peruvian civil society organizations continue their protests in order to demand improvements in access to antiretroviral drugs. Among these requirements is the rejection of the patent of exclusivity of certain laboratories which, for instance, the purchase of medicines like REYATAZ brings a surcharge of up to 20 times more. Undoubtedly, a blow below the belt to the national budget.
Recently, members from more than 15 organizations of civil society, including AID FOR AIDS Peru, signed a statement calling for the improvement of health policies. You can read part of the statement below:
“We, the undersigned organizations that have been working for more than 20 years in the right to health and access to medicines and the defense of the rights of our citizens, have been promoters and participants of the change in health policy, and we state that:
We recognize the role of the different actors of the system such as pharmaceutical companies, which supply drugs to health (…) We recognize that the patent system is a mechanism that promotes research and development. In addition, we support national drugs policy, which promotes a competitive market as a strategy to make medicines more affordable.
Reaffirming our commitment in the defense of the right to health and its recognition above commercial interests, we reject:
- That companies abuse the mechanism of patents by placing high prices to medicines, such as REYATAZ for which our country pays the highest price in the region, and compared to the generic medication, in 2014 the State paid 20 times more for each pill (…)
- Demand the Government the use of compulsory licensing, which is not an “expropriation of intellectual property”, but a legal strategy, which allows the entry of competitors into the market when the product is of public interest. In addition, an abuse of the domain position is being committed by companies such as BMS with their Atazanavir“
These are just some of the requirements made by the Peruvian civil society in the search for improvements of the quality of life of all Peruvians, who have the right to enjoy a decent life, through access to a system of universal health, so they can meet their needs without distinction.