Health GAP Concerns about Global Trust Fund
July 18, 2001

Genoa, Italy: Asia Russell or Sharonann Lynch: +1 267 475 2645 (mobile) or

United States: Paul Davis +1 215.833.4102 (mobile)

The Health GAP Coalition will be in Genoa beginning July 19 as the G8 countries will address the global AIDS and Health Fund and poor country debt.

Announcement s of donations to the Global Fund are expected during the summit, each likely to be as paltry as the $200 million contribution from President Bush.

New information will emerge regarding the fund structure after an exclusionary meeting in Brussels last week and in Genoa today (18 July). The composition and function of the fund's governing board has been finalized today in secret. The United States opposed the inclusion of poor countries on the Board by insisting on a 2-to-1 ratio of wealthy countries. This was defeated by Brazil and France.

Major areas of conflict about the fund persist.

  1. Will money for desperately needed life-extending AIDS treatment be spent wisely, through a bulk purchasing mechanism that acquires drugs at best world price regardless of patent status? Or will the money be used to fund corporate welfare for big pharma, purchasing only brand-name products at whatever prices industry offers?

  2. What role will drug companies and their affiliated trade associations (such as IFMPPA) have in governing the fund? Will any conflict of interest polices be established?

  3. When will wealthy countries contribute the billions in new money absolutely required to begin turning around this unimaginable crisis?

Since the TRIPS Council met June 19-20 to discuss intellectual property protection and access to drugs, the Bush Administration has shown that it will staunchly oppose efforts by countries to remove the obstacles in international patent monopoly protections that prioritize drug company profits over the lives of millions of people with AIDS.

We expect a reprehensible US position will be reflected in conditions applied to the Global Fund.

The crippling debt burden owed by poor countries hardest hit by the AIDS catastrophe must be eliminated. It is not enough for Bush to suggest that future grants are enough. Existing debt must be wiped away.

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