UNAIDS responds to Viiv’s announcement on licensing of long-acting Cabotegravir

UNAIDS

HIV medicine manufacturer Viiv has announced that it is “actively negotiating” a voluntary license with the Medicines Patent Pool on long-acting Cabotegravir.

The World Health Organization will soon issue updated global guidelines on the appropriate application of new long-acting HIV medicines.

Responding to the announcement made by Viiv, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director a.i. Matt Kavanagh said: “Last year there were 1.5 million new HIV infections, which shows the urgency of global access to new tools to overcome this pandemic. A successful global HIV response depends on the sharing of technologies. We are encouraged by ViiV’s announcement of negotiations with the Medicines Patent Pool, which has followed engagement by UN partners, financing agencies, civil society, and others. The announcement is an important sign of progress toward affordable global access to this technology for the HIV response; it now needs to be followed by rapid action, in order to translate promises into medicines.

To have transformative impact as a tool for HIV prevention on the scale needed, it is vital that a license for this long-acting antiretroviral come quickly, with open non-exclusive terms for use and production across the world’s low- and middle-income countries. The licensing agreement should also be accompanied by an effective transfer of a technology package, to facilitate quality-assured manufacturers around the world to produce the medicines as soon as possible. There is an urgent need for large-scale production to get underway in Africa, Asia, Latin America and beyond, as soon as possible, to minimize the further wait for affordable products where they are most needed.

Because generic manufacturing will take time to get running, even once a license is agreed, it is also key that ViiV name an interim price that is affordable for low- and middle-income countries.

Those who need new HIV prevention tools most are too often those who get access last – but this need not happen.

We can, as promised, end AIDS as a public health crisis by 2030 – if leaders act boldly to address the inequalities which have driven it. Hoarding life-saving science hurts everyone; it perpetuates pandemics. Sharing life-saving science benefits everyone.”

UNAIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations-UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank-and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org

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