Actions in Vietnam
"We deeply thank the American people who have supported us through the PEPFAR program. This program has saved many people and given them a new life. Many of us now have love, marriage and healthy, HIV-negative children.
Although we have made significant progress in Vietnam, we are very worried about the future and many people still do not have access to treatment. Current projections suggest that 150,000 people will be in need of ARV treatment in 2015.
The high price of second-line treatments in addition to costly medicines for Hepatitis B and C place a heavy financial burden on our shoulders. Many of us will not be able to afford it.
This is why today we are sending letters to Abbott and the Ministry of Health. We need access to lower priced second-line treatment. We hope we will receive positive responses to our letters. Affordable second-line treatment is vital for the Vietnam HIV/AIDS community’s ability to continue to make progress fighting this disease."
-- Dong Duc Thanh, Vietnam Network of People Living with HIV
In Vietnam, Kaletra costs $2,280 ppy, nearly double the country’s 2010 per capita GDP of $1,191. Abbott’s high cost monopoly limits the ability of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to expand access to treatment in Vietnam.
Signatories representing over 250 Vietnamese organizations sent a letter to Abbott requesting an open license that would enable Vietnam to provide affordable generics to its people. Additionally, the Vietnam Network of People Living with HIV sent a letter to the Ministry of Health requesting the government make use of any patents necessary to provide generic lopinavir + ritonavir.
Copy of letter sent to Minister of Health requesting government use of patent (11/10/2011)
Full statement of Dong Duc Thanh (VNP+)
Also see the "PEPFAR Vietnam COP REPORT FY 2010" on Abbott's brand name lopinavir/ritonavir driving up the cost of the program.