Actions in Malaysia
"The Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) is throwing its support on the Global Action on Kaletra, a coalition of non-government organisations (NGOs) across the developing world that work together as a single voice in urging Abbott Laboratories to free up patent restrictions on the components of HIV medicine commercially known as Kaletra (Lopinavir/ritonavir).
'We stand in solidarity with the Global Action on Kaletra. We are delighted that a concerted global respond towards this pressing is currently underway. We believe commitment by pharmaceutical corporations on fair trade practice is a critical step to achieve the goal of universal access for HIV treatment by 2015,' remarked Tan Sri Mohammad Zaman Khan, President of the Malaysian AIDS Council.
Through the availability of affordable generic drugs, the Government of Malaysia has been able to provide select anti-retroviral (ARV) medication for free since 2005. However, due to patent restrictions, newer generation of ARVs such as Kaletra have become so excessively expensive that they limit our Government's ability to provide greater access to medication for people living with HIV."
--Malaysian AIDS Council World AIDS Day Statement on Kaletra
In Malaysia, Kaletra costs 11,400 MYR (~$3,585) per person per year (ppy), while 2010 per capita GDP was $8,373.
The Malaysian AIDS Council sent a letter to Abbott requesting an open license, which would enable Malaysia to import (or produce) affordable generic lopinavir+ritonavir in exchange for reasonable royalty payments to Abbott.
On May 3, 2012, the Malaysian AIDS Council sent a letter to the Ministry of Health requesting a government use license for the patents that are necessary to use lopinavir/ritonavir and ritonavir. Read it here (links to mac.org.my)
To help educate people about what it's like for people living with HIV in Malaysia who depend on Kaletra to survive, Nazarius Celsus Dorus of Malaysia's PT Foundation has shared a statement about his personal experiences:
"I have had to tighten my belt because Kaletra is so expensive for me. I wish the drug company would lower the price, as I know that the number of people taking Kaletra is growing higher and higher – and there are many more who can’t afford the treatment they need"
News on Compulsory Licensing in Malaysia:
- April 4, 2013- The Malaysian Insider: Dr M, Malay chamber want Najib to reject free trade deal with Washington (links to themalaysianinsider.com)
- October 22, 2012- The Star (Malaysia): Measure to make drugs affordable (links to thestar.com.my)
- May 18, 2012- Pharmalot: Malaysians Seek License for Abbott AIDS Drug (links to Pharmalot)
- March 14, 2012- Update from Malaysia: Personal Statement on Abbott Laboratories' Kaletra