+ Access to medicines

The Global Health Workforce Alliance launches new website

The Global Health Workforce Alliance announces the launch of a microsite, developed in partnership with the Guardian, to highlight and raise awarenes of the global health workforce crisis ahead of the Second Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, in Bangkok, 25 – 29 January 2011.

SECTION27 and TAC applaud successful ARV medicine tender

SECTION27 and TAC applauds the successful ARV medicine tender – but call for continued actions to drive prices of essential medicines down further.

SECTION27 and TAC applaud the Minister of Health and his team at the Department of Health (DoH) for their part in conceptualising, implementing and concluding a successful antiretroviral (ARV) medicine tender. Announced yesterday, the 2010 tender – for the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012 – will see the state procuring ARV medicines at or about the best prices available globally.

Study proves that a pill a day reduces the risk of HIV infection amongst men who have sex with men

SECTION27 and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcome the results of the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Initiative (iPrEX) trial. Published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the study is the first to establish that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – taking antiretroviral (ARV) medicines before sex – reduces the risk of HIV infection. It follows closely on the heels of the CAPRISA 004 trial, which demonstrated that the use of tenofovir 1% gel reduced the risk of HIV infection amongst women at increased risk.

The iPrEx trial enrolled 2499 men who have sex with men (MSM) at 11 sites across the world (including Cape Town). Half of the trial participants were randomly assigned to take a daily dose of two ARV medicines – tenofovir disproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine (FTC) – combined into a single pill. The other half, also randomly assigned, received a daily placebo. All received a comprehensive package of HIV prevention services, including regular HIV testing, risk-reduction counselling, condoms, and the treatment of symptomatic sexually transmitted infections.

ESR Review: Regulating private power in health

by Jonathan Berger and Adila Hassim

On 28 July 2010, Ebersohn AJ of the North Gauteng High Court reviewed and set aside regulations purportedly made in terms of section 90(1)(u) and (v) of the National Health Act 61 of 2003 (NHA). As a result of this judgment, the Regulations Relating to the Obtainment of Information and the Process of Determination and Publication of the Reference Price List (the Regulations) and all related acts – including the determination and publication of the annual national health reference price list (NHRPL) – are now invalid.

Submission to Government of India on compulsory licensing

India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) recently published a discussion paper on compulsory licensing and made a call for interested parties to make submissions. On 7 October 2010, SECTION27 made a submission.