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Health GAP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 23, 2004
1:42 PM
CONTACT:  Health GAP
Sharonann Lynch 212 674-9598
 
Bush Plan to Block Use of Affordable, Effective, Quality Generic AIDS Medicines
 

WASHINGTON - March 23 - WHEN: Thursday, March 25, 11 am EST

HOW: Within the US: 800-297-9150, Outside: +1-703-871-3025 ask for Doctors Without Borders call

RSVP: (Not necessary, but appreciated): Kris Torgeson, 212-655-3764

WHO:- Ellen 't Hoen, Acting Director, Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)- Dr. Eric Goemaere, Head of Mission, MSF-South Africa- Sharonann Lynch, AIDS activist, Health GAP

ISSUES TO BE DISCUSSED:

* How the US plans to limit its global AIDS financing to brand-name pharmaceutical products, effectively shutting out the use of quality, effective generic AIDS medicines that are four to five times more affordable.

* Why the US is convening a meeting in Botswana, March 29-30, that questions the quality of generic fixed-dose combination (FDC) AIDS medicines that have already been pre-qualified under stringent World Health Organization (WHO) standards, are produced in labs that manufacture generic medicines for use by Americans, and are currently being used to successfully treat thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS.

* How generic antiretroviral FDCs - pills containing two or three AIDS medicines in one tablet - have become a key element in efforts by MSF and others to safely and successfully scale up AIDS treatment in resource-poor settings.

* The potential impact on the global fight against HIV/AIDS of the US requiring governments and organizations requesting US funding for AIDS programs, to use brand-name drugs only, rather than generic medicines which are often cheaper and easier for patients to use.

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