2009 Stop AIDS Resource Pack - Untitled by nyut545e2


									Welcome to the Student Stop AIDS 2009-10 Campaign
Action Pack!

This is a guide containing all the info you need to get stuck
into campaigning for universal access to HIV prevention,
treatment, care and support. On top of all the information in
here, we also have lots of campaign materials to help you,
like action cards, posters, balloons and ribbons.

Along with the rest of the G8, the British government
promised to deliver universal access to HIV prevention,
treatment, care and support by 2010. The deadline is
looming. We need your help to pile on the pressure over
the coming year.
                                                                target. Despite some increases in spending, and
                                                                one-off gestures by pharmaceutical companies we look
The Student Stop AIDS Campaign is made up of students           set to fail to meet our commitment and miss the universal
at universities and colleges across the country who             access target by a mile. We realised we should be doing
believe that the world’s response to the HIV pandemic is        something to stop AIDS and we gave our word that we
insufficient and unacceptable.                                  would. We now need to deliver on that promise and to do
                                                                so we need a large-scale, game-changing new approach.
As part of the broad coalition of NGOs which make up the
                                                                • It   is a huge and devastating problem
Stop AIDS Campaign, Student Stop AIDS Societies and
                                                                AIDS overwhelmingly affects the poor and the
Medsin campaigners work to bring about the changes in
                                                                vulnerable. The countries worst affected are the ones
national and international policy which will turn the tide on
                                                                battling countless other disadvantages. The pandemic
the spread of HIV and minimise its devastating impact on
                                                                is centred on Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern
people and communities around the world.
                                                                Europe highlighting the stark differences in health and
                                                                wealth between these states and the developed world.
Through informing, educating, lobbying, demonstrating
                                                                The difference in availability of treatment is even more
and a whole range of other activities, the Student Stop
                                                                shocking. We have close to full coverage in the UK, in
AIDS Campaign aims to bring an end to the injustice of
                                                                Swaziland – a country where 26% of the population are
HIV and AIDS by ensuring the government, business and
                                                                living with HIV – 42% of people living with HIV receive
the rest of the developed world lives up to their promise to
                                                                treatment. The impact of this can be seen most clearly in
deliver universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care
                                                                the average life-expectancy of its citizens – just 31 years.
and support by 2010

• We    have a moral obligation…                                  33 million people are living with HIV today

we gave our word                                                  67% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa

                                                                  3/4 of young positive people in Africa are girls
“We cannot allow our promises that became pledges to
descend into just aspirations, and then wishful thinking,         2 million died as a result of AIDS in 2007
and then only words that symbolise broken promises.”
Gordon Brown, 2007                                                75% of these were in Sub-Saharan Africa

                                                                  12 million children in Africa have lost one or both
HIV is a preventable condition, yet every day over 6000
                                                                  parents to AIDS
people newly contract it. We also have the drugs to treat
HIV, but two-thirds of those who need that treatment do           40% of new infections are young people aged 15-
not receive it.                                                   24

                                                                  5 people are newly infected for every 2 we put on
When, at the G8 in 2005, Tony Blair led the heads of
government from the richest states in the world in a
declaration that they would provide universal access to HIV       2/3 of people who need treatment aren’t getting it –
treatment by 2010, they were responding to huge pressure          and the number is set to rise
from the public. They were also accepting that they have
                                                                  $4 billion shortfall of money facing the Global Fund
a moral obligation to do more for the people across the           for AIDS, TB and Malaria
developing world affected by the spread of the virus.
Even though we have made progress since the G8                    55 million people are estimated to need HIV
declaration – there are 20 times more people on treatment         treatment by 2030
worldwide than in 2004 – we are still nowhere near our
                                                                 The efforts of student campaigners in the UK have had
                                                                 a huge impact on the global response to AIDS. We have
                                                                 a responsibility to continue this fight, and we have the
    The numbers which represent the scale of the                 knowledge that if we do it well enough we will win.
    AIDS problem are staggering. It is crucial to
    remember that behind each of these numbers                   You will make a difference.
    is a person, like Memory Phiri who joined the
    speaker tour last year. Memory, from Zambia,
    was orphaned at a young age and has been
    living with HIV since she was 13. However, she’s
    been lucky enough to receive the treatment, care
    and support which ensure she can live a full life
    and support her brothers and niece.

    Far too many, however, don’t receive that same
    support and the effects are devastating

    In communities in Swaziland and across the world, the
    young are being hardest hit by HIV. The lack of access to
    treatment means that young mothers and fathers, young
    farmers, teachers and nurses are dying unnecessarily, and
    with them die hopes of economic and social development.

    But HIV is not a death sentence. For over 20 years we
    have had drugs which control the virus, and turn HIV from
    a killer into a manageable condition. Over time the drugs
    have got better and better, and sticking to your drug
    regime means you can live a long and full life.

    We’ve made great strides in getting people onto treatment
    in recent years, but much more needs to be done. We
    need to address chronic problems in health infrastructure,
    improve care and support services for people living with
    HIV and we need to ramp up effective prevention methods.

    • Action      works

    The Student Stop AIDS Campaign has helped to change
    government policy. We pushed hard to ensure the
    universal access pledge was made in 2005. We helped
    to get the UK government to stand up for Thailand
    against the bullying of pharmaceutical giant Abbott. Our
    campaigning ensured the government threw its weight
    behind the patent pool and supported it on the board
    of UNITAID.

• We   must tackle the problems with
drug supplies
Why, if we have the drugs, are people not getting them?
There are many difficulties with access. The health
infrastructure of many countries is often not good enough
to ensure the supplies reach those most in need. Of those
currently on treatment in the developing world, most are
in towns and cities. Those in rural communities often have
to walk for days to get to the nearest clinic, and even then
there is no guarantee the drugs will be there. There are
issues with the sustainability of funding. There is a need to
do more on prevention to reduce the numbers who need
treatment – for every two who start treatment, five are
newly infected.

Another key issue is the price of the drugs. High prices go
hand in hand with monopolies – and the current system in
world trade ensures that when pharmaceutical companies          1st generation First Line Drugs – $80 per patient per
invent new drugs, they get exactly that.                        year (pppy) – Generic
                                                                This the first kind of drug used to treat people across
                                                                the developing world. These are the oldest HIV
                                                                drugs and have been made by competing generic
There are two key types of drugs. There are those               manufacturers for many years – bringing the price
produced by ‘originator’ pharmaceutical companies               right down.
– basically the ones sold by the company that has
created the new drug. These are typically known as              2nd generation First Line Drugs - $1033 pppy
‘branded’ drugs, and are protected by a twenty year             originator
patent. This means they are often very expensive.               The older first lines, however, often have high toxicity
                                                                and result in serious side-effects for many patients.
The other key group is known as ‘generic’ or                    The WHO now recommends the use of newer (2nd
‘unbranded’ drugs. These are sold by generic                    generation) first lines that don’t have these problems,
manufacturers who re-produce the drugs created                  but they are subject to greater patent controls and
by ‘originator’ pharmaceuticals and which are sold              are therefore more expensive.
at a much lower price. Often there are a number of
generic manufacturers producing the same drug, and              New Second and Third Line Drugs – $620 (generic)
this brings the price down even further.                        to $2291+ (originator)
                                                                HIV requires life-long treatment and over time the
The big reductions in drugs prices and the increases            virus becomes resistant to the drugs being used to
in access to treatment we have seen over the last               control it. At this stage the patient needs to move to
five years have been made possible by generic                   newer, more effective drugs. Again, more of these
production. If we are to continue expanding                     are under patent and so the price is higher and
treatment to all who need it, we’ll need to expand              developing countries cannot afford the provide them.
generic production. But right now, with TRIPs being             We’re now seeing the need for the introduction of 3rd
implemented in India, the opposite is happening                 generation treatments – and, again, these come with
(...more on TRIPs over the page).                               a higher price tag and strong patent controls.
    −TRIPs                                                           Voluntary licences – when a company decides to ‘do the
    The World Trade Organisation, or WTO, are the guys who           right thing’ and grant generics the right to produce their
    make up the rules about how countries and companies are          drug (often for a fee) – are fine, but it only happens in the
    allowed to do business around the world. They’ve come            places the drug company chooses, and with the drugs it
    in for a lot of stick for screwing over developing countries     chooses. In reality it means people living with HIV are dying
    with the rules they make, and most poor countries don’t          because they didn’t warrant a gesture from the Corporate
    have a choice but to accept it.                                  Social Responsibility team at company HQ – normally
                                                                     because they live in a country with enough rich people for
    One of the most heavily criticised set of rules are known        them to be seen as a growth market.
    as TRIPs, (Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property
    Rights) which state that if you come up with a new
                                                                     −New drugs and India
    invention you can patent it, so no-one can copy it for 20
                                                                     Where the monopolies have been broken and cheap,
    years. That might sound reasonable, and in some areas
                                                                     generic copies of HIV drugs have been produced the
    it might be appropriate. But TRIPs applies to medicines.
                                                                     prices have been slashed, from thousands of dollars to
    And that means that if you come up with a life-saving HIV
                                                                     just $80 per person, per year. Today 75% of people on
    drug you can charge whatever price you like, as there’s
                                                                     HIV treatment are taking generic drugs. But the situation
    no competition to bring the price down. This means that
                                                                     is getting worse. Most of these drugs are produced in
    millions of people have been dying because they can’t
                                                                     India – known as the pharmacy of the world. It has a well
    afford the drugs they need.
                                                                     developed pharmaceutical industry, and before 2005 it
                                                                     was free to make whatever drugs it wanted and ship them
    People realised that the impact TRIPs was having on
                                                                     across the developing world. But since 2005 India has had
    healthcare around the world was grossly unfair, and moved
                                                                     to enforce TRIPs and whilst they could still make the
    to try and reduce the harmful effects. But the ‘flexibilities’
                                                                     older HIV drugs, they can’t make generic versions of the
    they created in the system haven’t worked.
                                                                     newer, more effective HIV treatments. The more time
                                                                     passes, the more out-of-date the drugs India can freely
    There are three ways to get generic production of drugs
                                                                     produce become.
    – wait until the patent runs out, declare a public health
    emergency and take out a compulsory licence, or hope
    that the originator pharma company feels generous and            −Fixed dose treatment
    grants a voluntary licence. When none of those things            HIV is a complicated condition. You often need to take
    happens you have to take the price you are given by the          different drugs in combination to make sure you stay
    pharma company.                                                  healthy. If the drugs are taken in different dosages, at
                                                                     different times of the day, on different days of the week,
    It is very difficult to issue a compulsory licence; drug         and if they come in different forms, it can become really
    companies, western governments, and red tape all get             tricky to stick to your treatment plan.
    in the way. In 2007 Thailand managed to successfully             But if you combine the different drugs into one easy to
    issue a compulsory licence for Kaletra, a heat-stable HIV        take pill – known as a fixed-dose combination it makes life
    treatment, but only after resisting pressure from the USA        a lot easier for the person taking the drug, and ensures
    and the bullying of its maker, Abbott, who threatened            their treatment is as effective as possible.
    to cut off the sale of all its drugs to Thailand. Thanks to
    Student Stop AIDS campaigners the UK government
    backed Thailand and helped them to win a hard-fought
    victory. But not every country has the strength to face
    down such powerful opponents.

But often these different drugs are made by different
pharmaceutical companies who don’t cooperate with each         Timeline
other, and so even though they could be combined, they
aren’t…this makes it much more difficult for people who          1981 - AIDS is officially identified, but probably 
                                                                 transferred to humans between 1884 and 1924
need to take these drugs to stay healthy.
                                                                 1981 – First known deaths from AIDS in the UK
                                                                 1987 - AZT becomes the first drug approved for 
                                                                 treating HIV
−Child friendly drugs                                            1990 - Around 8 million people are living with HIV 
Drug companies make money by investing heavily in                worldwide
                                                                 1994 - Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual 
research of lots of possible new drugs and then charging
                                                                 Property Rights (TRIPS) rules are agreed in 
a very high mark up on the ones that work. But, from a           Uruguay 
business perspective, if the disease you are trying to cure      2001 – Doha Declaration confirms ‘flexibilites’ 
                                                                 which allows generic drug production where 
normally affects only poor people who won’t be able to
                                                                 there is a public health emergence
afford highly priced drugs, there is not a lot of point in       2003 - 5% of the people who need treatment are 
investing loads of money researching a drug to treat them.       receiving it in lower and middle income countries
                                                                 2005 - India starts enforcing TRIPS meaning 
That leads to neglected diseases, and more money being
                                                                 restrictions on global generic drug supplies
spent on researching hair loss treatments for embarrassed        2005 – Stop AIDS pressure leads G8 to pledge to 
middle-aged men, than TB, which kills millions every year.       provide universal access to treatment for all 
                                                                 people living with HIV by 2010
                                                                 2006 - 22% of the people who need treatment 
Very few children are living with HIV in the west today. We      are receiving it in lower and middle-income 
know enough about HIV that with the right care, support          countries
and treatment, it is very unlikely for mothers to transmit       2007 - Thailand issues a compulsory license for 
                                                                 generic versions of Abbott’s Kaletra – a heat 
it to their children. This means that not much money             stable HIV drug. Abbott reacts by withdrawing all 
is spent on treatments for children. However, there are          of its medicine from Thailand
millions of children in Sub-Saharan Africa whose mothers         2007 - Abbott back down after Stop AIDS help 
                                                                 secure UK backing for Thailand
don’t get that care, support or treatment, and so are living     2008 – 28% of those in need of treatment in the 
with HIV. As a result less than 10% of children who need         developing world receive it
treatment get it and, according to MSF, for the last twenty      2008 – June: UNITAID Board decide to set up 
                                                                 task force to explore a patent pool for HIV
years doctors in Africa have been guessing the dosage            2008 – September: Push for the Pool campaign 
of treatment they have been giving to children living with       launched
HIV meaning half of children born with HIV die before their      2009 – January: 14,000 Push for the Pool cards 
                                                                 handed to International Development Minister 
second birthday.                                                 Ivan Lewis
                                                                 2009 – March: Day of action – Minister Ivan Lewis 
                                                                 answers student questions and calls on big 
                                                                 pharma to engage with the pool. 20,000+ action 
                                                                 cards handed over. Mass lobby of MPs builds 
                                                                 support for campaign
                                                                 2009 – May: UK champions patent pool proposal 
                                                                 and leads vote to approve budget and action 
                                                                 2009 – June: EDM 1553 launched – over 140 
                                                                 MPs give their support to patent pool and call for 
                                                                 pharma cooperation
                                                                 2009 – September: Pharma stage of Push for the 
                                                                 Pool Campaign launched
                                                                 2009 – December: UNITAID board to vote on 
                                                                 patent pool business plan and creation of pool

                                                                    receives millions of the UK’s international health funding
                                                                    every year, and then wastes it. Only 18% of the
                                                                    World Bank’s HIV interventions in Africa achieved
    • …a Patent Pool                                                outcomes judged to be ‘satisfactory’ or better – and
    We want a patent pool supported by all pharmaceutical           this was when they were marking themselves! This is
    companies and research institutions with HIV patents            maddeningly unacceptable.
    which will allow generic drug manufacturers to make
    affordable medicines for the millions across the developing     We want the government to avoid falling embarrassingly
    world who need them.                                            short of the targets agreed in the health millennium
                                                                    development goals by finding the funding for countries
    We want a patent pool which allows innovation so we can         to build the health infrastructure that will deliver universal
    deliver better HIV treatment, like much needed new fixed-       access and address the wider health issues they face.
    dose combinations and encourages the development of
    child-friendly formulations.                                    We want the government to explore new funding
                                                                    streams to allow the delivery of crucial health systems
    We want a patent pool which covers all countries in need –      strengthening across the world. A currency transaction
    that includes all middle-income countries; places like India    levy (CTL), for example, would take 0.005% of all currency
    and Swaziland, who battle endemic, crushing poverty and         transactions, raising between $30billion and $60bn for
    have large numbers of people living with HIV.                   health. The CTL would mostly impact the big banks
                                                                    and currency speculators, and would be very easy to
    We want the UK government to continue their strong              implement. The UK should lead the world in making
    leadership on the patent pool and battle to make it a           it happen.
    reality, becoming a champion of the proposal at the
    UNITAID board and pressing pharmaceutical companies
    to join.                                                        • …proper support for health workers
                                                                    and effective health system
    We want to ensure the UNITAID patent pool draws the
    support of all three of the main political parties in the UK.   strengthening spending

                                                                    Funding and drugs are only part of the solution. The
    • …the     government to fully fund the
                                                                    structures and systems and, most importantly, people who
    AIDS response                                                   make up the health systems across the world must be
                                                                    effectively supported so they can provide the best possible
    We want the UK government to deliver on its pledge              care for the people they serve.
    to fund the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria – a
    phenomenally effective, efficient, transparent and              Often however, the policies of the World Bank and
    adaptable organisation.                                         IMF seem determined to undermine healthcare in the
                                                                    developing world, by pushing for countries to charge
    We want them to pay their fair share of the cost of the         patients user-fees and cutting back the wages of doctors
    life-saving work of the Fund – that’s an extra £183.45          and nurses.
    million between now and the end of 2010. Without
    this kind of commitment, the UK is allowing crucial             The Stop AIDS Campaign, in conjunction with student
    interventions against HIV to go unfunded, and people will       campaigners, is investigating the impact of these
    die because the UK have not backed up their promises            policies and will be developing a campaign to call for
    with action.                                                    change. Students will be helping to design the campaign
                                                                    throughout the autumn term and we’ll be exploring all the
    We want the British government to stop wasting vital AIDS       details and deciding our role in the new campaign at the
    funding by channelling it through the World Bank, which         February training.
Over the course of this year we’re going to be building
our case on funding and health systems, and we’ll be
introducing them in more detail at the February training.
But for now the patent pool needs our attention...
In twelve months the Push for the Pool campaign has
helped move the patent pool from un-heard of pipe-dream
to UK government policy. The next twelve will reveal if we
can help turn it from theory, into practice.

Keep pushing for the pool!

• What is the UNITAID patent pool?
As we’ve said before, there is a growing crisis with access
to generic HIV medicines. UNITAID – an international
drug-purchasing body of which the UK is a founding
member – is currently developing a concept for a patent
pool which, if introduced, should address the lack of
generic competition and help bring prices right down.
Here’s how it would work:

Having negotiated their terms, the holders of the patents
for HIV drugs hand them over to an independent authority
set up by UNITAID.

This body then pools all the patents from different
pharmaceutical companies and universities together in one

Researchers and drug companies, particularly generic
manufacturers from the developing world, then apply to
the patent pool for the right to use the patents to produce
cheap versions of the existing drugs and to make further
innovations on existing treatments.

These new and cheaper drugs are then sold throughout
the developing world, helping to address the fact that two-
thirds of those who need treatment currently aren’t
getting it.

For every drug sold using their patents, the pharmaceutical
companies and universities that invented them get a
royalty fee which they agreed with UNITAID when they
joined the patent pool.

    Three key differences a Patent Pool for
    HIV medicines would make:
                                                                    Thanks to the efforts of Student Stop AIDS campaigners
    1) More affordable drugs: By allowing lots of different
                                                                    and others, the government supported the patent pool
    manufacturers to produce the same drugs, the patent pool
                                                                    task force through the initial stages of its work. Now we
    will open up competition and bring down drug prices. This
                                                                    need to broaden our campaign to ensure pharmaceutical
    is particularly important for the newer, more effective drugs
                                                                    companies and universities join the pool, whilst not
    which are currently priced out of the reach of the people
                                                                    forgetting we need to ensure the UK stay committed to the
    who need them.
                                                                    idea. Here are our key targets for the year ahead…

    2) Child-friendly HIV treatments: It will allow companies
    to produce different versions of existing drugs suitable        • Big Pharma
    for children, and creates a viable business model which         The pharmaceutical industry has mostly been very careful
    creates the incentive for investing in paediatric HIV drugs.    about what they say about the patent pool. They haven’t
                                                                    said no outright, but some within the sector are becoming
    3) More appropriate, easier to take drugs: It will allow        increasingly questioning, bordering on hostile in the press –
    urgently needed new fixed-dose combination treatments           even whilst they tout their own commitment to addressing
    to be created from existing drugs which are currently           the problem. Others have been very open to the idea.
    under patent to different companies.                            Here’s a run down of a few of the key players…this is what
                                                                    they’re thinking at the time of writing, but watch out for
                                                                    new developments as things are changing all the time.
    • Will it work?

    It certainly holds the potential to revolutionise access to     GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
    HIV treatment. It is an answer that matches the scale           Key drugs: Telzir
    of the problem. But its success depends on the support          Key person: CEO Andrew Witty
    of governments and the involvement of the                       Annual profit: £4.712 billion (2008)
    pharmaceutical industry.                                        HQ: Brentford, London

    One key strength of the patent pool proposal is                 New CEO Witty has tried to position himself as the man to
    that it addresses some of the key concerns of the               change the industry, but many of his announcements on
    pharmaceutical companies – it acknowledges the                  HIV have been nothing new, and even though he claimed
    importance of investment in research, and rewards them          to only know as much about the patent pool as he read
    for their efforts.                                              in the papers that could be because he hasn’t answered
                                                                    UNITAID’s letters, emails or phone calls. GSK claim HIV
    In the past efforts to increase affordable HIV medicines        isn’t a neglected disease, but HIV amongst children is a
    have failed to address the scale of the problem. They           perfect example of a neglected disease.
    have been caught up in ludicrous red-tape like the TRIPs
    flexibilities. They have been one-off gestures by drug
                                                                    They say: We don’t yet see the point of a HIV patent
    companies which benefit only one country with one
    drug. They have not had the support of a wide-range of
    stakeholders, like governments, campaigners, people             We say: You’re not going to change the industry by
    affected by HIV or the pharmaceutical industry. All of these    undermining the patent pool whilst touting old, in-sufficient
    are problems which the patent pool can overcome.                gestures as the answer.
    There are many details to be worked out and persuasion
    to be done, but going into 2010, it is unquestionably our
    best hope of success.

Key drugs: Tenofovir
Key person: CEO John Martin
Annual profit: $2.16 billion (2007)
International HQ: Cambridge

Gilead was established with HIV as its core area of
focus. They have made a number of moves which have
undermined access to treatment and have just lost a legal
appeal in India which they hoped would tighten Indian
patent regulations on Tenofovir. But their noises about the
patent pool have been more positive. It will be interesting
to watch them closely to see if they turn positive noises
into positive, life-saving action.

They say: “We believe if structured appropriately,
UNITAID’s patent pool can play a critical role in expanding
access to antiretroviral treatment for patients around the
world by encouraging the development of new fixed-dose
combinations and paediatric formulations, lowering prices,
while respecting intellectual property.” Gilead’s senior vice
president Gregg Alton

We say: You’ve started talking the talk – now we want
to see you walk the walk.
                                                                • Universities
                                                                Many universities have a large number of research projects
Abbott                                                          into HIV treatments and own the patents to very useful
Key drugs: Kaletra                                              drugs. They too must commit to a patent pool for it to
Key person: CEO & Chairman, Miles D. White                      work. Some unis find it difficult to get funding and often
Annual profit: $4.881 billion (2008)                            have close relationships to big pharma, selling on their
British HQ: Maidenhead                                          research for pharmaceutical companies to further develop.

The Student Stop AIDS Campaign and Abbott go way                Some unis have, however, acknowledged the moral
back. They tried to prevent Thailand from producing a           questions around access to treatment and the Universities
generic version of their drug Kaletra to save the lives of      Allied for Essential Medicines campaign has made a big
people living with HIV. When they threatened to cut the         impact in the USA and now the UK. They have convinced
supplies of all their drugs to Thailand, we stood up to         universities to change their research policies so that all
the bullying and won support from the UK government.            deals they do with business on medicines research, must
They’ve stayed very quiet about the patent pool in public,      include the clause that the end product is sold for the
but we suspect they’re not keen.                                lowest possible price in the developing world.

                                                                We need to ensure Unis know about the patent pool and
They say: Nothing
                                                                volunteer any of their relevant patents to the initiative.
We say: We won last time…
                                                                They say: We need to hear more.
                                                                We say: We’ll be here to help you every step of the way.
     • Government and the opposition                                 MP and get lots of new people involved in the campaign.
     The UK government have come out fully in support of             Make sure you tell everyone about it well in advance and
     the UNITAID patent pool proposal. They voted in favour          invite your MP to speak alongside the speakers. Many
     of it at an important board meeting and wrote to the            won’t be able to make it as they’ll be in parliament, but if
     head of UNITAID to tell him about the student campaign,         they can’t – tell them about our event in parliament and get
     to get them to hurry along, and to offer their support in       them along. Then ask them to meet you when they’re next
     the development of the pool. They’ve also called on the         available to update them on the campaign and thank them
     pharmaceutical industry to engage with UNITAID. Their           for their support, or to introduce the whole thing to them.
     support has helped to bring the patent pool much closer
     to reality. However, they have said they are ‘awaiting the
                                                                     • World AIDS Day – 1st December
     outcome’ of the research into the patent pool with interest,
                                                                     Get out and remind people of the crucial cause you are
     so pressure is still needed to ensure they greet that
                                                                     fighting for. Make sure everyone knows it’s World AIDS
     outcome warmly in December.
                                                                     Day, tell them about the patent pool and get them to
                                                                     join our Push for the Pool Facebook group. Get them to
     However, the government are not going to be the
                                                                     write a message to the government before the crucial
     government forever. There is a general election next year
                                                                     UNITAID meeting.
     and there is a very good chance we’ll soon be dealing with
     a Conservative Party in power. So far they’ve refused to
     publically support the patent pool proposal, and haven’t        • December UNITAID meeting
     called on big pharma to do anything. In fact they’ve            This is likely to be a crucial day for the patent pool
     praised them at every opportunity and seem to have              proposal. This will be when the task force present their
     strangely similar things to say as big pharmas plub, the        business case to the UNITAID board and they vote on
     ABPI. It is imperative that we secure their public support      whether to go for it or not. The build up to this will be very
     and we must use the election campaign to push them to           important in making sure the government is reminded that
     push for the pool.                                              we are watching them.

                                                                     • Beginning of 2010
                                                                     This is a great chance to make a splash in the media.
                                                                     We have only 12 months to go before our time to deliver
     We’re going to use the first term to pile the pressure on the
                                                                     universal access runs out. 2010 is an important year. Make
     pharmaceutical industry and government in the lead up to
                                                                     the most of it by planning a stunt and getting great photos
     the crucial December UNITAID board meeting.
                                                                     of it to the local press along with a really strong message
                                                                     about what needs to be done. Try and get quotes from
     • Fresher’s Week                                                your MP and local parliamentary candidates.
     Every fresher worth their salt is looking for something
     to get stuck into. If you are well prepared, have a great
                                                                     • March Day of Action
     stall and clear purpose and plan for getting new people
                                                                     We don’t know what we are doing yet, but we’ll definitely
     involved, Fresher’s Week will be a goldmine of new
                                                                     be doing something. Make sure you get organised to get
     enthusiastic members. The more people involved in the
                                                                     as many of your society there as possible.
     society the more you can do and the more pressure we
     can put on big pharma.
                                                                     • General election
                                                                     There is going to be an election next year – probably in
     • Speaker Tour
                                                                     June – and it is going to be very keenly fought. For the first
     This year’s speaker tour is going to be a great opportunity
                                                                     time in 13 years there could be a change in government.
     to make friends or re-acquaint yourselves with your local
                                                                     This means every vote will be being eagerly sought by

politicians from all sides. This will also be the first time   to bombard the pharmaceuticals with letters through a
that many students will have voted and you hold a lot of       specially set up website.
sway in your constituencies. Get geared up to press the
candidates hard on what their party will do about HIV and
                                                               • And if that fails…
AIDS if they win, and publicise their views to your fellow
                                                               If pharma don’t get in the pool we’re not going to let them
students. We’ll be launching our election campaign at the
                                                               away with it. We’re going to do our best to push them in
February training, so make sure you get to it, and make
                                                               with more plans to be revealed when they’re needed.
sure you register to vote!

                                                               • Ongoing engagement with government
                                                               We also need to make sure the government remembers
                                                               that this is something we care deeply about, and that we
‘The Student Stop AIDS Campaign in the UK has                  are looking to them to follow through on their initial support
played a vital role in advancing the patent pool               by voting to create the patent pool at the December
proposal through UNITAID. Their continued support and          UNITAID meeting. We’re going to create a Push for the
involvement will be crucial in the coming months.’             Pool Facebook group and we’ll need as many members
Ellen ‘t Hoen, Senior IP Advisor At UNITAID                    as possible, all calling for the UK to lead the creation of a
                                                               patent pool.
• Awareness and engagement
The more people who know about the patent pool the
better. Go out and evangelise! Show the animation at your      • Universities
fresher’s fair to explain the concept. Get them excited        Research your university’s research! If you find they’re
about the possibility, get them signing the action cards and   involved in HIV work start engaging the relevant
get them involved! Start planning for World AIDS Day (1st      departments, lecturers and uni management. Get
December) and make a big splash on campus in the build         academics and researchers signed up to the Push for the
up to the UNITAID patent pool decision.                        Pool e-petition. Tell us who they are and we’ll add them to
                                                               our growing list of ‘expert’ supporters.
This year we have a number of ways to get our
message to the people who matter. We’ve got action             Get your student union to pass policy supporting the
cards addressed to three of the biggest players in the         campaign and build support for the uni to create a patent
pharmaceutical industry – their involvement in the patent      pool policy for their HIV research. Find out if UAEM are
pool is vital, and we’re going to remind them that they are    active on your campus and work closely together. Many
being watched. It’s crucial that we bombard them with          UAEM campaigners are also involved in Stop AIDS.
cards – we’ve printed 20,000!

                                                               • Fundraising events to support your
• Letters to pharma and meetings?
                                                               work and the campaign
You should also have received in your fresher’s pack a
                                                               Every society needs funds to do all the things they want to
scroll with a letter addressed to three pharmaceuticals. Get
                                                               do. There is nothing wrong with fundraising for yourselves.
as many signatures as possible from students across your
                                                               It will give you the freedom you need to do the things you
uni and local town onto the scroll. We’ll then support you
                                                               want to do – like travel to national events or training, or
to deliver them to the company HQ – one society a week
                                                               buy the raw materials for making campaigning kit. Your
throughout Autumn, so they get a constant reminder in the
                                                               campaigning makes a huge impact on the lives of millions
build up to the UNITAID board meeting. Seperately, we’ll
                                                               of people across the developing world – it is a valuable use
be trying to meet with them to hammer home our point.
                                                               of people’s donations. The student campaign is run on a
                                                               shoe-string, so if you feel you can donate some of what
Get good photos taken, get a press release done and
                                                               you raise to support the work of your fellow campaigners,
get yourselves in the uni rag and local papers. We’re also
                                                               please, please do.
going to work with the Stop AIDS Campaign and MSF
                                                                     Who or what is UNITAID?
                                                                     UNITAID is an international organisation whose core
                                                                     mission is to increase access to quality drugs for HIV, TB
                                                                     and malaria in developing counties. It was founded by five
                                                                     countries in 2006: France, Brazil, Chile, Norway and the UK.

                                                                     In July 2008 the Executive Board of UNITAID approved the
                                                                     principle of setting up a patent pool for
                                                                     essential HIV treatments. UNITAID is currently working on
                                                                     the business model for this, and we are campaigning to
                                                                     encourage the UNITAID Board members (including the
                                                                     UK government) to support this proposal as we believe it
                                                                     will help increase access to life saving medicines for the
     • Utilise our support
                                                                     people most in need.
     If you have any questions, or ideas, or plans get in touch.
     We’re always at the end of the phone. We’re going to work
                                                                     Which countries would the patent pool be used for?
     hard to get the website fully updated with news and we’re
                                                                     The proposed UNITAID patent pool would be for low and
     going to keep adding useful resources to it throughout
                                                                     middle income countries. The cheaper drugs made as a
     the year. Make sure everyone in your society is signed up
                                                                     result of the patent pool would not interfere with the profits
     to our newsletter, and send us your news. We are pairing
                                                                     pharmaceutical companies can make in rich countries, as
     grad trainers with societies this year. They’ll find out what
                                                                     the drugs would not be able to be sold there.
     kind of training and support you need a come to you and
     deliver a workshop to help build your skills.
                                                                     What difference can I make by joining Push for the
                                                                     In order for the patent pool to get off the ground we need
                                                                     lots of people to start shouting about it. By pledging your
                                                                     support you will be joining thousands of campaigners in
     Speaker Tour                                                    demanding that the UK government and others ensure
                                                                     that the patent pool is turned into a reality, so that people
     October                         November
                                                                     in urgent need of life saving treatment can access it.
     12th     Cambridge              2nd      Nottingham
     13th     Oxford                 3rd      Birmingham
                                                                     Once it’s set up the patent pool will be voluntary.
     14th     Reading                4th      Liverpool
                                                                     Therefore, in order for it to work all patent holders must be
     15th     Bath                   5th      Manchester
                                                                     willing to put their patents in the pool. If only one or two
     16th     Cardiff                6th      Sheffield
                                                                     companies join in, the patent pool won’t really work. We
     19th     Bristol                9th      Leeds
                                                                     need you to put them under public pressure, and make
     20th     Exeter                 10th     Durham
                                                                     sure they join.
     21st     Bournemouth            11th     Newcastle
     22nd     Southampton            12th     Edinburgh
                                                                     But isn’t the problem the poor health infrastructure
     23rd     Brighton               13th     Glasgow
                                                                     in poor countries, not the price of drugs?
                                                                     That’s a factor and needs to be addressed, but we also
     • February training 18th – 21st February                        need to get cheaper, more appropriate drugs. In fact,
     It’s essential all societies are represented. This will be an   the high price of drugs means developing countries are
     action packed weekend of learning, decisions, planning          spending money on treatment that they could otherwise
     and prizes. Book early!                                         be investing in strengthening their healthcare system. The
problem of affordable medicines is only to get more acute      the profits, and the amounts invested in marketing of drugs
in the years ahead because India is more restricted in what    is one huge issue. The patent pool will hopefully present a
it can produce. We need to solve this problem as well as       viable alternative and a better way of doing business.
the other issues.
                                                               Won’t the cheap drugs be smuggled into the US and
Won’t allowing generic manufacturers to make                   Europe and undercut the prices charged there?
cheaper versions of the drugs mean that the quality            Drugs already cost different amounts in different countries
will go down?                                                  across the world. It’s an issue, but not one the patent pool
No. Generic drugs are already available and are keeping        will adversely affect. We’ll deal with it in the way we deal
people across the developing world alive –they have been       with other goods – through customs checks and tricks to
for years. They contain the same ingredients and have the      differentiate the products for different markets, like varying
same effect, and they are subject to the same tests and        the colour and shape of the pill.
controls as normal drugs. Generic drugs are not the same
as counterfeit drugs, which is a totally separate problem.     Doesn’t this system still rely on profit-making
                                                               companies who have no interest in people’s health?
Isn’t there a huge problem with people not taking              There is nothing forcing them to reduce their prices,
their medication correctly and allowing the virus to           so they’ll still be making profits from other
mutate and become resistant to the medication?                 people’s suffering.
Won’t increasing the amount of 2nd line drugs                  Most people who work within this industry aren’t that
available make this problem worse?                             cynical. They are trying to do good. But at the end of the
Whilst there are issues with people sticking to their          day companies exist to make a profit and they have a duty
treatment regime, it is complicated. There are problems        to do so. The problem however has been monopolies
with treatment adherence in America as well as Africa.         which allow companies to charge whatever price they like.
In some cases the problem is the health care facilities        This initiative relies on the competition between generic
available – we need to work hard to overcome the problem       manufacturers generated by the patent pool that will bring
of poor provision, not use it as an excuse to refuse people    prices down. It is that competition which has made other
treatment. Taking your medicine correctly is also made         HIV drugs affordable, and it should work again.
easier when you only have to take one pill rather than
three – something the patent pool will help deliver. Even      What costs are involved for UNITAID?
if you always take your drugs properly, with time you will     UNITAID will probably shoulder the set-up and
still need to move to a new treatment regime as the virus      administrative costs of running the pool, but most of these
naturally builds resistance to the drugs over time. We need    details are yet to be announced.
to ensure that everyone has access to HIV treatment for
life, and that means we need affordable second line            What incentives are there for Pharma? Obviously
drugs now.                                                     they will receive royalties, but everyone I’ve
                                                               mentioned this to couldn’t really believe that
Although it’s not the perfect system, isn’t selling            royalties alone would be a big enough incentive.
drugs at a big profit the only way to fund the                 The royalties received will provide a new revenue stream
research into the new treatments we need?                      from a market that the pharmaceuticals otherwise wouldn’t
The research is vital, and it is expensive, but there are      receive, so that is a genuine incentive – especially when
other proposals out there which would ensure the research      the alternative is a compulsory licence which earns them
is funded and to ensure it tackles the diseases causing        nothing. They may also be able to utilise the patent pool
the most suffering and death. In the past government           themselves to access the patents of other companies to
funding for scientific research meant importance rather        advance their own research. Finally there is the good PR
than profitability drove investment. The creation of a prize   which joining should generate. Pharmaceuticals don’t like
fund for neglected diseases is one idea. The patent pool       people calling them evil, and if they get into the pool they’ll
is another which will help innovation. There are lots of       get lots of good press. If they don’t join, then…well, we
negative and far-reaching consequences of only following       need to make sure they understand the choice.
Useful websites
Student Stop AIDS      www.stopaidssocieties.org.uk
Stop AIDS Campaign     www.stopaidscampaign.org.uk
Medsin                 www.medsin.org
UNAIDS                 www.unaids.org/en/KnowledgeCentre
MSF Access Campaign    www.msfaccess.org
UNITAID                www.unitaid.eu
UAEM                   www.essentialmedicine.org
Avert                  www.avert.org
SPW                    www.spw.org


0207 808 1782 / 1785

SPW, 7 Tufton Street, London, SW1P 3QB

Photo credits
All underwater shots copyright Emma Critchley

Stats all taken from:
MSF Untangling the Web (12th Publication)

To top