On September 3, the government of Indonesia took a quiet but exceptionally important step to expand access to medicines and help save and improve lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B.
President Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a decree authorizing government use of patents for seven HIV/AIDS and hepatitis medicines. If implemented to the full, the measure would introduce widespread generic competition and generate potentially massive cost savings in the world's fourth most populous country. The decree licenses patents for a slate of HIV medicines, and may represent the broadest single use of pharmaceutical patent licensing power by a country since the World Trade Organization 1995 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (WTO's TRIPS).
Indonesia's action sets a powerful example for other countries and a critical precedent for global public health. The Presidential decree is part of an effort to greatly expand access to newer and more appropriate antiviral and antiretroviral treatments in Indonesia.
The licensed medicines include efavirenz, abacavir, didanosine, lopinavir + ritonavir, tenofovir, tenofovir + emtricitabine, and tenofovir + emtricitabine + efavirenz.
Congratulations to Sindi Putri, Abdullah Denovan, and their colleagues at ITPC Indonesia, and JOTHI, among other organizations, who have campaigned for second-line treatment and are advancing access in Indonesia.
Further analysis of Indonesia's government use order, the treatment revolution, and compulsory licenses / government use of patents around the world
Licensed Medicines in Indonesia
“Second-line treatment is an essential pillar in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but because of Abbott’s monopoly pricing, Indonesia cannot afford it. This is why we’re proud to take this step together with our friends around the world to stand up for our right to medicines.”
-- Sindi Putri, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition Indonesia
Global Day of Action, November 10, 2011
In Indonesia, Kaletra costs $1000 ppy while in 2010 per capita GDP was $2,946. ITPC Indonesia and other Indonesian civil society groups sent a letter to Abbott requesting an open license, which would enable Indonesia to access affordable generic lopinavir + ritonavir.
Additionally, the groups met with officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Health to present a letter requesting the government make use of any patents necessary to provide generic lopinavir + ritonavir.
See ITPC Indonesia's letter to the Indonesian Ministry of Health Here (in Indonesian), November 10, 2011
Public Citizen sends a letter to Minister of Health Dr. Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih, in support of ITPC Indonesia's request for compulsory licensing, March 20, 2012
Information about the Medicine Patent Pool
Read about the process that led to compulsory licensing in Indonesia in 2004
Return to the Kaletra Campaign Homepage