Act Up-Paris and the Burkina Faso Network for Essential Drugs 1 call on Roche to unblock generic production for Africa
For Immediate Release, October 21 2005
Act Up: Khalil Elouardighi
+ 33 6 63 15 38 82
RAME: Simon Kaboré
+226 7024 4455.
Roche CEO Franz Humer said Wednesday in an interview to Reuters that "Roche will discuss possible licenses with anybody able to manufacture the drug." For African countries, who have been unable to make stockpiles of Tamiflu, and who are already seeing migrating birds arrive from contaminated regions, there is no time left for talk: Roche must immediately authorize and facilitate the launch of a generic production of Tamiflu.
Faced with a pandemic, Roche is not free to dictate its terms
Taking account of the opacity of Roche's voluntary licensing offer, one cannot take the company's intent to facilitate a generic response to the needs (amounts, prices) and the urgency (timeframe) seriously.
Thus, considering the huge profits already reaped over Tamiflu, as well as the terrible vulnerability of Africa to an avian flu epidemic, it is inacceptable that Roche should dictate it terms and slow down the launch of massive generic Tamiflu production for poor countries.
People with AIDS at special risk from avian flu
In this context, Africa cannot afford to wait until Roche is done "talking". Act Up-Paris and African Essential Drug Network (RAME) demand that Roche:
(1) RAME = Network for Access to Essential Drugs (Réseau Accès pour les Médicaments Essentiels), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, www.rame-bf.org . RAME is a member of est Panafrican AIDS Treatment Access Movement www.patam.org/
(3) "Brazil to Break Roche's Patent on AIDS Medication", Wall Street Journal, August 23 2001 ; "Roche Reaches Accord on Drug with Brazil", New York Times, September 9 2001.
(4) Colds and Influenza (the Flu), a report by the Well Connected Project of Harvard Medical School, www.reutershealth.com/wellconnected/doc94.html
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