Press Statement WHO/2-03
24 January, 2003
STATEMENT BY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
AND SCALING UP TREATMENT FOR HIV AIDS
WHO welcomes new initiatives by some innovator companies to license their
patents for certain HIV/AIDS medicines to generic manufacturers.
Such voluntary licensing can increase competition, reduce prices, and
thereby give poorer people greater access to medicines. Candidate products
for voluntary licensing include those with established safety, efficacy and
public health relevance for priority health problems. Ideally, such
products should be those included in international and national treatment
guidelines, and products with the potential for low-cost production.
Licensing arrangements should ensure that regulatory authorities have access
to quality assurance standards for the product.
Last year, the World Health Organization, with over 50 partner
organizations, launched the International HIV Treatment Access Coalition.
This coalition has set as its target to provide access to antiretroviral
medicines for at least half of the six million people with HIV/AIDS in low
and middle income countries who need them, by 2005. Achieving this ambitious
goal depends on continued decreases in the prices of ARVs, as well as
adequate international and national financing and effective delivery
For more information please contact Communications Officer Jon Lidén
Tel +41 79 244 6006, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org