EECA CAB — Community Advisory Board in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The main goal of EECA CAB is to improve access to the treatment of HIV, Hepatitis C and TB in the countries of the regions using the joint forces of the patient community. EECA CAB includes treatment access activists from the following countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Estonia.
The objectives of EECA CAB are:
- To ensure equal dialogue on a regional level between the community of patients, the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agencies to achieve universal treatment access in the region
- To increase the role of the community of patients in the processes regulating price setting, procurement mechanisms and clinical trials in the region
- To establish a regional hub for building the capacity of the community of patients in EECA in the field of treatment access
- Represent the interests of the community of patients in the region on the global level.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia remains one of the most affected regions in terms of the rate and prevalence of HIV, tuberculosis and Hepatitis C.
EECA is the only region in the world in which the number of new HIV cases and AIDS-related deaths continues to increase. The coverage of ART is extremely low — only 25% of the people in need of treatment currently receive it.
Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C are the major causes of death among people living with HIV. The number of MDR-TB cases and XDR-cases are becoming more frequent. The chances of developing a drug-resistant form of TB are ten time higher in the patients of the EECA region.
The real scope of the Hepatitis C epidemic in EECA is unknown due to a lack of effective monitoring system. However, according to the estimates, approximately 7 million people currently have Hepatitis C in the region; for most of them treatment is unavailable due it its exorbitantly high cost.
Also, there is a lack of equal dialogue between the authorities and the community of patients in the countries of the region.
To address these needs, in 2009 ITPCru and ECUO PLHIV initiated the establishment of the Community Advisory Board in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA CAB).
So far, 10 meetings have been organized with the following companies: ViiV Healthcare, Abbott (AbbVie), Janssen, Merck, Sharp and Dohme, Gilead, BMS, Pharmasyntez and Medicines Patent Pool. Several capacity building training have been organized for more than 60 community activists on the following topics: HIV and Hepatitis C treatment, patents and registration, generic drugs.