UK enquiry into access to HIV medicines

The Alliance’s Head of Policy, Anton Ofield-Kerr, gave evidence this week at an enquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on AIDS on access to medicines in the developing world.

The enquiry on Tuesday 10 June 2014, Achieving Universal Access – The Treatment Timebomb II, follows a previous enquiry conducted by the Group in 2009.  It looked at the supply of affordable anti-retroviral medicines (ARVs) and concluded that the high price of second and third line drugs for HIV was a major barrier to HIV treatment.  The report, Treatment Timebomb, was successful in mobilising political support for the Medicines Patent Pool.

This second enquiry takes place in the context of new WHO guidance in 2013 which increased the number of people living with HIV who are entitled to treatment (from 15 million to 26 million), which has increased the need for affordable first and second line treatment.

The Alliance's oral evidence focused on access to treatment of people co-infected by HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV). The HIV response is now faced with a potential turning point in the impact of this co-infection, with new treatments recently approved, or soon to be authorised, which offer significant improvements: fewer side effects, high cure rates, etc. But it is critical that these new treatments for HCV are made available to everyone who needs them. Pharmaceutical companies such as Gilead are working hard on access programmes, but there is much more to be done.

Download the full Alliance written evidence submitted for the enquiry. 

  • Read more about the Alliance’s position on health in a post-2015 context in our briefing paper, and the background to the enquiry here.
  • Read this analysis by STOP AIDS of the Global Fund’s Tiered-Pricing initiative and its potential impact on the global effort to improve access to medicines.