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[e-drug] EU Parliament's VP on the ASAQ therapy for malaria

E-DRUG: EU Parliament's VP on the ASAQ therapy for malaria

Please below a letter from the Vice President of the European Parliament, 
Luisa Morgantini, to the DNDi, regarding the launch of the new 
anti-malarial therapy ASAQ: A solution without the patent profit mechanism 
is possible.


Brussels, 1 March 2007

Dear Bernard Pecoul,

I sincerely regret not being present today at the launch of the new 
antimalarial therapy ASAQ by DNDi and Sanofi-Aventis, as I would have 
liked to. This is an event that I consider especially important. An event 
that drives a decisive step forward in the fight against poverty and death 
caused by "neglected diseases" in Africa and other impoverished countries.

Let me say, first of all, that I very much welcome the fact that the new 
ASAQ antimalarial fixed-dose combination is born without patent. This means 
that, for the first time, the health of millions of people has been rated as 
more important than profits in the creation of a new life-saving drug. The 
traits of the new therapy ASAQ lead to a remarkable degree of 
enthusiasm, both in terms of availability and accessibility of the drug.

I therefore would like to offer my deepest congratulations to DNDi and
Sanofi/Aventis, as you finally give us the tangible evidence that patents 
can be skipped in the interest of public health, especially for poor people 
with no purchasing power. As you know, this is a concern that all human rights 
organizations and the civil society worldwide have voiced for years, claiming 
the fundamental people’s right of access to essential health tools. This battle 
is still on, and we are still working on it.

I also consider the innovative partnership between DNDi and Sanofi/Aventis 
a concrete answer to the Novartis case in India, in which I'm personally 
engaged in favour of the lawfulness of the generic version of "Gleevec" 

Thanks to ASAQ solution, it will be more difficult now for the big 
pharmaceutical companies to defend the thesis according to which it is not 
possible to make progress in pharmaceutical innovation, without the patent 
profit mechanism.

The new global health public good approach pursued by DNDi and 
Sanofi/Aventis and their results demonstrates that a new way is possible. 
The largest possible access of population remains the goal and its 
accomplishment will depend on the cooperation among all actors involved 
(NGOs, civil society, academia, institutional bodies and enterprises) and 
from the support they will be able to give to this new approach.

As member and vice-president of the European Parliament I reaffirm my 
commitment to make sure the European Union, which has given financial 
support to ASAQ, will continue its efforts in spreading the new treatment 
to the widest possible segment of the population in need.

Sincerely yours,

Luisa Morgantini
Vice-President of the European Parliament

Alexandra Heumber
EU Advocacy Liaison Officer
Medecins Sans Frontieres
Access to Essential Medicines Campaign
Rue Dupre, 94. 1090 Brussels
++32 (0) 2 474 75 09 (Dir off)
++ 32 (0) 479 514 900 (Mob)
++ 32 (0) 2 474 75 75 (Fax)

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