The proposed project will focus exclusively on advocacy for increasing national funding for ARV drug procurement and maximizing allowances granted in respect to international intellectual property rights.
01.01.2013 – 31.12.2014
ARV coverage EECA region-wide is low at 23%, and it’s clear that universal access to treatment, as a fundamental human right is far from being realized and cannot be fulfilled in the absence of treatment availability and increased public financing for ARV drugs procurement.
Specifically ECUO plans:
- In order to equip regional PLWH community with evidence based advocacy tools on this, ECUO will commit funding for a desk review of the current legislative/regulatory basis as it pertains to integration of five selected TRIPS flexibilities into the legislation of project targeted EE countries (Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine).
- The next step, within the framework of the subject project, would be bringing assessment findings/outputs on parliamentary agenda through calling a meeting with respective Parliamentarian Committee(s) re a possible intervention on a revised IP regime for pharmaceutical products.
- ECUO and country-level national PLWH organizations will undertake advocacy actions for establishment of the Treatment Support Working Groups (TSWG). These groups will: (a) initiate the process with regard to incorporation of TRIPS flexibilities in national patent laws; (b) contribute to the formation of the National budget as it regards to ARV drug procurement and increased access to treatment; and (c) revise all available mechanisms to reduce drug prices.
- In order to build capacity in national PLWH networks for this sort of evidence-based advocacy, the proposed project envisions conducting training session(s) for partner-country PLWH organizations for the engagement of the PLWH community in formation and monitoring of the national HIV/AIDS strategies; and, enhance understanding of specific TRIPS flexibilities and educate on how amending national patent laws to make incorporate the full range of TRIPS flexibilities, can enhance availability of affordable generic medicines nationally (as well as regionally).
- Project will also envision joint advocacy actions with NGOs with human rights expertise and other NGOs responding to HIV, in the form of press release and press meetings, petition(s) and request letter(s) for draft legislation, in order to attract public attention to increased access to treatment and wide utilization of TRIPS flexibilities.
In addition to the activities enlisted above, ECUO will pursue a specific approach to Ukraine. ECUO will be seeking for specific technical assistance to ensure that Ukraine can benefit from all allowable flexibilities under TRIPS, while still respecting patents.
Additionally, ECUO plans to organize a study tour to Brazil for Ukrainian legislators and public authorities to learn about international best practices on adoption of straightforward, easy-to-use domestic provisions to facilitate the use of TRIPS flexibilities, and consider the perspectives and experiences of Brazil government of including PLWH communities in topic-related decision-policy-making process.
We fully realize that all the desired changes will not happen “overnight”, but ECUO and its country partners will act as catalysts/triggers for needed changes, and through their advocacy efforts strive to achieve increased national budget financing for ARV procurement, and successful utilization of TRIPS flexibilities in targeted countries.