AID FOR AIDS International and The Central American Network of people living with HIV, REDCA+, congratulate the “Medicines Patent Pool” (MPP) for signing the voluntary licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc. This agreement, the first with a major drug maker, will facilitate wider access to antiretroviral medicines.
However, we note with dismay the limited geographical scope of the license agreement, which excludes a large portion of the Latin American community living with HIV. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela are among those countries that will not benefit from the agreement. This lack of inclusion is contrary to the mandate to facilitate access to ARVs in all developing countries, which was reaffirmed in the 2011 UNGASS Political Declaration in paragraph 71.
It is important to emphasize that the principle of Non-Discrimination does not absolve the MPP from the responsibility of including these Latin American countries as beneficiaries of this and all future agreements.
This text is adapted from a letter written by Otoniel Ramirez, regional secretary of REDCA+