Monday, November 7, 2016

Much To Praise, In WHO's Global Hep C "Affordable Cures" Drive -- Much More To Be Accomplished...

This is exceptionally good news: the initiative has now treated one million Hep C sufferers, at acceptable costs.

Even so, there are millions more to go -- in many difficult geo-political environs. [My March 2015 backgrounder here.]

But we should all take a moment to reflect -- on what has been accomplished. So, we will take this moment to praise industry, WHO and (as ever) Doctors Without Borders. Here is the WHO release, and a bit:

. . . .Thanks to a series of access strategies supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners, a range of low- and middle-income countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Thailand and Ukraine – are beginning to succeed in getting drugs to people who need them. Strategies include competition from generic medicines through licensing agreements, local production and price negotiations.

"Maximizing access to lifesaving hepatitis C treatment is a priority for WHO," says Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of WHO's Department of HIV and Global Hepatitis Programme. "It is encouraging to see countries starting to make important progress. However, access still remains beyond the reach for most people."

A new WHO report, Global Report on Access to Hepatitis C Treatment: Focus on Overcoming Barriers, released today shows how political will, civil society advocacy and pricing negotiations are helping address hepatitis C, a disease which kills almost 700 000 people annually and places a heavy burden on health systems’ capacities and resources.

"Licensing agreements and local production in some countries have gone a long way to make these treatments more affordable," says Dr Suzanne Hill, WHO Director for Essential Medicines and Health Products. For example, the price of a three-month treatment in Egypt dropped from US$900 in 2014 to less than US$200 in 2016. . . .

Onward, on a wonderful, clear Monday. . . with an HRC win now assured, I'll no longer travel on Tuesday. But I will be out of pocket from Wednesday night to Monday night, on the West Coast. Be excellent to one another!


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