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[e-drug] WHO/UNAIDS meeting with CIPLA

E-DRUG:  WHO/UNAIDS meeting with CIPLA
[From WHO/press website;

Statement WHO/07
22 March 2001


WHO and UNAIDS welcome the commitment of
pharmaceutical companies to improving people's access to
care for HIV infection. One of these companies, Cipla, has
announced its offer to work with MSF to bring HIV-related
medicines at affordable prices to the people who need them 
in developing countries. 

A meeting took place today at WHO between staff from Cipla,
WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, the European Commission and
MSF, in order for the UN organizations to get clarification on a
range of issues relating to Cipla's recent offer to make
reduced price triple combination therapy available in
developing countries. 

Issues raised included pre-qualification, registration
requirements, supply logistics, technology transfer and validity of patents. 

WHO and UNAIDS noted that an overall framework to
combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other serious infectious diseases in poor 
countries is a priority. This framework must  encompass prevention, care, 
treatment and healthcare systems development. Moreover, ensuring that 
antiretroviral  and other AIDS drugs reach those who need them and are used 
effectively means that questions of financing and clinical feasibility will 
also have to be addressed. 

The information supplied by Cipla today will be evaluated to
see how Cipla's offer can be included in the information that
the UN makes available to interested governments and
nongovernmental organizations through its Accelerating
Access Initiative. 

The approach of the UNAIDS Cosponsors and the secretariat is to help countries 
identify all legitimate suppliers of affordable medicines of assured quality, 
including those in both the generics industry and the research and
development-based industry. 

The UN has identified, through a public call for Expressions of Interest to 
manufacturers of HIV-related pharmaceuticals and diagnostic equipment, 34 
suppliers of HIV-related medicines and diagnostics, 29 of which are from the 
generics industry.

An analysis of these offers will be made publicly available in
mid-2001. Cipla's offer will be included in this analysis. 

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