Activists in the EECA demand a tenfold reduction of the price for pegylated interferons
"We, the members of the Eastern European and Central Asian Community Advisory Board, call upon all manufacturers of pegylated interferons to reduce now the cost of a Hepatitis C treatment course to $2000 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, so that people can survive."
This week, several non-governmental organizations and networks working in the field of HIV and Hepatitis C response in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have sent an open letter to the manufacturers of Hepatitis C treatment with a request to substantially reduce prices for their products in the countries of the region.
This request is primarily addressed to Merck and Roche, the companies that have monopolized the market for pegylated interferons, the most important component of Hepatitis C therapy today.
The representatives of Merck received the open letter personally at the meeting of the Eastern European and Central Asian Community Advisory Board that took place in Tbilisi, June 13, 2012.
As Roche refused to take part in the meeting, the letter with the request about the price reduction was sent to the company via e-mail; today, the company representatives have confirmed the receipt of the letter. This letter is also planned to be addressed to all the companies in the world producing generic versions of pegylated interferons.
Eastern European and Central Asian Community Advisory Board (EECA CAB) is a joint initiative of Eastern European and Central Asian Union of People Living with HIV (ECUO PLHIV) and ITPCru for a continuous dialogue between the community of PLHIV in EECA and pharmaceutical companies and other stakeholders for ensuring better access to treatment in EECA.
The meeting that took place in Tbilisi was devoted to issues of access to Hepatitis C treatment. The meeting participants decided that an advocacy campaign was needed, aimed at improving access to Hepatitis C treatment. The request to reduce prices for pegylated interferons was only the first step of the campaign.
Today, many organizations and initiatives are advocating access to Hepatitis C treatment. No doubt, this is one of the most urgent issues for people living with HIV at the moment. Our open letter is a step towards achieving a common goal.
Below is a text of the request addressed to the companies, with a list of organizations which took part in the meeting and signed the letter. The detailed information about the meeting, including the minutes of the negotiations with the companies, will be available after July 10.
“The main obstacle to access to treatment for 7 million people living with this Hepatitis C in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the unacceptable and unfair pricing policy of the pharmaceutical companies. The treatment of Hepatitis C costs $15 000 in the region, which in its own right deprives people of obtaining it and thus staying alive.
We, the members of the Eastern European and Central Asian Community Advisory Board, call upon all manufacturers of pegylated interferons to reduce now the cost of a Hepatitis C treatment course to $2000 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, so that people can survive”.
International Treatment Preparedness Coalition in EECA (ITPCru)Eastern European and Central Asian Union for PLWH (ECUO PLWH)
Belorussian CABMoldavian CABRussian CABUkrainian CABEstonian CAB
Public union to fight AIDS, AzerbaijanArmenian Network of Positive PeoplePublic Organization “Real World Real People”Union of public organizations “Group on advocacy for AIDS problems”Republican public union “Belorussian community of PLWH”Charitable public organization “Alternative”, BelorussiaPublic organization “Real People Real Vision”, GeorgiaGeorgian Harm Reduction NetworkOrganization of people living with Hepatitis C, GeorgiaPublic organization “New Vector”, GeorgiaPublic organization «Union Tanadgoma», GeorgiaPublic organization “Georgian plus group”, GeorgiaAll-Russian Public Organisation “Union of PLWH”League of PLWH in MoldovaEstonian Network of PLWH
Source: Johns Hopkins Children's Center