Remove the words ‘as far as possible’ from HIV Bill: patients

Members of the People Living with HIV group protesting outside the residence of Union Health Minister J.P Nadda.   | Photo Credit: Vidya Krishnan

Source: The Hindu, March 9, 2017

Members of the People Living with HIV group protested outside the residence of Union Health Minister J.P Nadda, demanding the deletion of the term ‘as far as possible’ from the HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill.

The crucial public health legislation, aimed to guarantee rights to India’s 2.4 million strong HIV community, was approved by the Cabinet in October and immediately rejected by the HIV networks, as the phrase ‘as far as possible’ left it entirely open to interpretation. Continue reading

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In India’s Fight Against Tuberculosis, Diagnostics Remains Poorly Understood

A lack of innovation in diagnostics is making Indians more prone to drug-resistant TB, which is difficult to treat and could be fatal.

Janki Patil spends most of her time at home. Patil suffers from Extensively Drug-Resistant TB. Credit: Ankur Paliwal

By Ankur Paliwal, The Wire | March 3, 2017

The end of an otherwise typical day in the winter of 2013 would mark the beginning of a hard and lonely battle for 18-year-old Janki Patil (name changed). She woke up in her 100 square foot poorly ventilated one-room house. Her brother and mother – both sick with tuberculosis – were still asleep, on the floor, next to her father, younger sister and grandmother. Continue reading

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India Has Run Out Of HIV Drugs For Children Due To A Ridiculous Government Failure

HIV positive children walk to the wash basin with their plate after eating lunch at a school for HIV/AIDS-infected children in Bhugaon, some 130 km (81 miles) from Mumbai, January 9, 2008. Photo Credit: Reuters

By Indirani Basu, HuffPost India | March 6, 2017

NEW DELHI — Thousands of children living with HIV in India are reported to be at risk because the country has run out of Lopinavir syrup, a child-friendly HIV drug. The only manufacturer of the drug, Cipla, has not been paid by the Indian health ministry since 2014, reported The Hindu. Continue reading

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637 HIV+ children write to Centre asking it to pay Cipla for live-saving drug: The Hindu

Source: Scroll, March 6, 2017

The pharma company has stopped production of the Lopainavir syrup saying it has not recovered its dues from the government.

637 HIV+ children write to Centre asking it to pay Cipla for live-saving drug: The Hindu

As many as 637 children living with HIV have written to Prime Minister Narendra urging him to look into an alleged delay in payments to pharmaceutical company Cipla, which has led to the firm discontinuing a life-saving drug. The company has stopped producing the Lopinavir syrup citing “delay in payments by the national programme for the HIV medicines by several years and even non-payment of its dues in many cases”, reported The Hindu. Continue reading

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India runs out of life-saving HIV drug for children

By Vidya Krishnan, The Hindu | March 6, 2017

Cipla, sole manufacturer of Lopinavir syrup, stopped production of the drug after govt. failed to clear dues

Desperate over withdrawal of a life saving drug, children living with HIV (CLHIV) have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for help.

The letter, written on March 4, is signed by 637 children ranging from ages 3 to 19 and states that, “the pharmaceutical company Cipla has in various forums cited delay in payments by the national programme for the HIV medicines by several years and even non-payment of its dues in many cases. Profits on child doses of HIV medicines are small and delayed payments are having a chilling effect on the ability of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) to convince the company to participate in the bids it invited annually.”

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The high price of Big Pharma greed

By Leena Menghaney, The Hindu | March 4, 2017

In 2014, an Indian pharmaceutical company was globally the first to receive approval to market a biosimilar, thereby affordable version, of the breast cancer drug Trastuzumab. Almost immediately, Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche, innovator of the drug, filed a suit against the Indian Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to block its sale. The action firmly put their profits ahead of the lives of women with breast cancer.

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Requesting PM Modi to help children get HIV medicines

Dear Prime Minister Modi, Minister Jaitley and Minister Nadda,

Developing a proactive approach to the prevention of HIV medicines shortages

Shortages of medicines have been a global problem for the past decade and have also increasingly affected the National AIDS Control Programme in India.  We, as people living with HIV, have consistently worked together with the national programme to address shortages and stock outs as it is our community which faces delayed or interrupted treatment, increasing the risk of developing resistance to their current regimen. Continue reading

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