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Indonesia issues a compulsory license on seven HIV and hepatitis B drugs.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Following the example of India, last march, Indonesia makes use of TRIPS flexibilities to allow its population access to patented medicines, today sold at prohibitive prices.

Last September the 3rd, the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has issued a decree inviting the government to authorize local production of cheap generic versions of seven antiretroviral drugs : efavirenz, abacavir, didanosine, combination of lopinavir+ritonavir, tenofovir, combination of tenofovir+emtricitabine and combination of tenofovir+emtricitabine+efavirenz. This decision will induce lower medicines prices due to generics competition [1]. The decree says that 0.5% of royalties will be paid to the patent holders.

It is a courageous decision when battles for pharmaceutical licenses are so intense : trial of Novartis against a law protecting generics in India, free trade agreements to impose new intellectual property. There are about 310 000 seropositive persons in Indonesia [2], over 75 % of the ones in need of ARV treatment do not receive it. Allowing the patients access to better HIV and hepatitis B treatments, many lives will be saved.

Act Up-Paris welcomes this decision and congratulates the Indonesian activists who struggled to obtain it. Act Up-Paris is asking the French government to publicly acknowledge this decision, and to encourage the other countries to issue compulsory licenses to facilitate the cares access for their populations.

[1The entry on the market of the generic versions of a medicine reduces its price down to 97 %.

[2UNICEF data.