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Access to HIV/AIDS Diagnostics and Anti-retroviral Treatments

Active Since: 2002

Contributing to SDGs…

As the leading provider of HIV viral load testing, Roche created the Global Access Program in 2014 to contribute to the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goal, expanding access to quality, sustainable diagnostic testing for countries hardest hit by HIV.

In 2014, Roche announced, the Global Access Program for increased access to HIV diagnostics. Roche partnered with national governments, local healthcare facilities, communities and international agencies, including UNAIDS, CHAI, Unitaid, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Global Fund, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to establish programs that would go beyond providing diagnostic tests.

PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

  • Bilateral Organisations

    US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

  • Global NGOs

    Clinton Health Access Initiative

  • Government

    Ministries of Health

    Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals

    UNAIDS

    UNITAID

    Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

  • Pharma (Non-IPFMA Member)

    Zenufa Laboratories

  • Generic manufacturers

    Adcock Ingram Healthcare

    Addis Pharmaceutical

    Aspen Pharmacare

    Beximco Pharmaceuticals

    CAPS Pharmaceuticals

    Cosmos Pharmaceuticals

    Radiant Pharmaceuticals

    Shelys Pharmaceuticals

    Varichem Pharmaceuticals

  • Logistics and supply chain

    Medicines Patent Pool

Objectives

The Global Access Program (GAP) works to expand access to Roche’s diagnostic tests and treatment for HIV, Hepatitis B and C (HBV and HCV), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and MTB-RIF/INH, and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) screening. Beyond diagnostic support, the program works to build local capacity and infrastructure.

What are the health needs and challenges?

In resource-limited countries, the cost of medicines and diagnostics is one of many barriers to medical care. These countries can also be the hardest hit by diseases such as HIV/AIDS. In fact, low- and middle-income countries defined by the World Bank as developing economies, including sub-Saharan Africa, are home to 87% of all people living with HIV/AIDS.

There is a need for increased access to reliable diagnostic testing alongside afforable treatment options for people infected with HIV/AIDS.

Partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Roche has committed to transparent pricing and patent policies to address barriers to its HIV diagnostics tests and second-line HIV protease inhibitor medicine in countries where resources are scarcest and the need for treatment is greatest. Roche supplies its protease inhibitor Invirase (saquinavir) at non-profit prices for people living in the low-income countries, including all of sub Saharan Africa (SSA). This covers 63 countries, which are home to 64% of all people living with HIV/AIDS.

These are the lowest prices at which the medicines can viably be sold in the long term and do not reflect research or development costs, marketing costs, distribution costs or company overheads. No-profit prices are annually reviewed and adjusted when necessary to ensure they remain no-profit. Roche also supplies Invirase at significantly reduced prices in middle-income and emerging countries where HIV/AIDS is a growing problem.

Since 2007, the company has provided Valcyte (valganciclovir), an oral medication for treating AIDS-related cytomegalovirus retinitis (CMVR), at reduced prices for AIDS treatment programmes led by non-governmental organisations in low- and middle-income countries and in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, through a purchase agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool, Roche further reduced the price for Valcyte for use in HIV patients, making it 90% cheaper for 138 developing countries, including a number of upper middle-income countries such as India and China.

Through the Global Access Program program, Roche supplies diagnostic HIV tests at the lowest possible price in SSA countries and several countries in South America and Asia.

Roche does not file for new patents or enforce existing patents on Roche medicines in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) or low income countries. In addition, Roche does not file or enforce patents for antiretroviral HIV medicines in sub-Saharan Africa. Not applying patents in these regions enables generic versions of Roche medicines to be produced and distributed in these countries without applying for a license. In addition, through programs like Roche’s Technology Transfer Initiative (completed in 2010), local manufacturers now have the necessary skills to produce generic versions of the HIV medications.

SDGs THE PARTNERSHIP CONTRIBUTES TO

SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

  1. 3.2: Reduce Under-5 Mortality 
  2. 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs

SDG 5: Gender Equality

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 

RESULTS & MILESTONES

Non-profit and reduced pricing addresses affordability, with prices similar to or below those of generic versions of the medicines. The reduced prices apply to 87% of all people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION