Global Kaletra Campaign Summary

 

GLOBAL KALETRA CAMPAIGN SUMMARY

Proposal:

Access groups in multiple countries are working together to launch a coordinated “Global Kaletra Campaign.” As part of this initiative, these groups will file patent oppositions, compulsory license requests and other measures with their respective governments in order to promote competition in the pharmaceutical market. The global campaign will focus on reducing costs for and expanding access to the protease inhibitor ritonavir (a component of Kaletra and other HIV/AIDS treatments). Additionally, the campaign will support competition initiatives for other priority medicines in each partner country.

Coalition actors will implement diverse strategies to address each country’s particular access needs (e.g., extensions of licenses to new sectors of the population, more open licensing to producers where needed and patent oppositions or compulsory license requests according to preferences of advocates in each country). In addition, partners will capitalize upon existing TRIPS flexibility campaigns to maximize mutual technical and political support. Finally, the campaign will seek to instigate the use of TRIPS flexibilities in additional countries. A global day of action will mark the campaign’s public launch.

Objectives:

The objectives of the Kaletra campaign are three-fold:

·         To reduce costs burdens on HIV/AIDS programs and other health agencies in order to advance access to ritonavir and its co-formulations (lopinavir, atazanavir, etc.) as well as other HIV/AIDS treatments and prevention services;

·         To amplify the power of country-level TRIPS flexibility campaigns through global support, joint actions and messaging, in order to build the reach and organizing capacity of the global access to medicines movement;

·         To catalyze a global political climate sensitive to access interests and conducive to the use of TRIPS flexibilities, by drawing public & political attention to a compelling global case.

Why Kaletra?  Ritonavir & Kaletra / Alluvia are compelling medicines for a public global campaign for the following reasons:

·         therapeutic value,

·         public sensitivity to HIV/AIDS,

·         ritonavir’s role as a booster for additional products (atazanavir etc.),

·         high price and pricing abuses,

·         availability of reputed generics at low price (including heat stable generics),

·         public investment in ritonavir’s development (ritonavir was developed in part on grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health),

·         Kaletra brand-name recognition,

·         Abbott’s aggressive and intransigent approach to matters affecting public health (e.g., product tying in the U.S., refusal to register new products in Thailand, not negotiating with Medicines Patent Pool, global patent evergreening, etc.).

While the campaign targets Kaletra in name; in practice it will deal with ritonavir and its co-formulations. Evergreening patents related to these products already extend as far as 2026.  The global campaign will work with partner groups to incorporate other key products in each country, while focusing primarily, for global campaigning purposes, on the compelling storyline of a single product.

A key objective of the Kaletra campaign is to scale up advocacy to deal with the seriousness of the access to medicines challenges the world faces. We hope and would expect the Kaletra campaign to energize other such initiatives.

Method:

Public Citizen (USA), Comunicación Positiva (Colombia), GTPI (Brasil) and other groups and volunteers will provide technical assistance and campaign communications assistance for partners in participating countries.  We welcome volunteers and further assistance in this regard. Health groups and/or public agencies in participating countries, with assistance if requested, will prepare a competition measure – patent opposition, compulsory license request, extension of existing competition etc. – to be filed on the day of action.  Some countries may host highly visible events; others release statements.  Global volunteers and coordinators are developing common information and press packets and will draw on advocates in each country for contributions that can be sent to national and international press. Lawyers are available to assist with technical elements of competition measures, via email but also in person by scheduling a country visit. Through coordinated activity on the day of action, we will increase the visibility of competition measures, tell a compelling story, and operate through a network of mutual support.

Country status:

Several specific countries represented in the campaign have a history of competition requests and / or active campaigns on ritonavir / Kaletra.  Others have generic competition, but are subject to limits or pending monopoly threats.  We seek to include several
additional countries with active civil society groups that may take on new competition campaigns. Further details can be discussed upon request.

Proposed day of action:

We have not yet settled on a date. Participating access groups will select a date together. We intend to continue to scale up and expand the global campaign after the day of action, and probably a year or more into the future.

How to participate:

We are organizing country calls and regional calls.  We invite you to join and make a plan together that works for your country context and suits your advocacy priorities.