Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) issued this statement in response to a United Nations Development Programme press conference at AIDS2016 this morning on the High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines: “
For decades in our medical humanitarian work all over the world we have witnessed the toll on people’s lives when medicines are priced out of their reach, or when effective treatments simply do not exist. 16 years ago in Durban, people living with HIV/AIDS first challenged the injustice of the patent and pricing barriers that prevented them from accessing the first generation of lifesaving medicines. Today, some of the same pharmaceutical corporations have set prices for hepatitis C medicines so high that there is treatment rationing; the systemic gaps in research and development leave people with drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis and less than a 50 percent chance of being cured.
We urge the Secretary-General to release the report of the High-Level Panel so that governments can begin working on a plan to make urgent changes and inform the ongoing global health discussions at the G20 and upcoming UN General Assembly.
The report must address the global problem of spiraling drug prices putting a heavy burden on health programs. Today millions of people are driven into debt simply trying to get life-saving medicines for themselves or their children. Governments should use this opportunity to make public health a priority by reforming the rules that govern R&D to ensure that millions of people can access their right to treatment, no matter where they live or their ability to pay.”
--Sophie Delaunay, executive director of MSF's Access Campaign