The Medicines Patent Pool is pleased to announce that the MPP-ViiV Healthcare licence agreement on abacavir (ABC) signed in 2013 has been expanded to include three additional middle-income countries: Ukraine, Venezuela and Peru. In February 2013, MPP and ViiV Healthcare launched a broad collaboration on HIV paediatrics that included a licence for ABC, the WHO-preferred treatment for children up to the age of ten. The licence allows now generic manufacture of the ARV for use in 121 countries where 99.3% of children in the developing world live with HIV.
Addressing the HIV paediatric epidemic continues to be challenging. Of the 3.2 million children living with HIV worldwide, only a quarter has access to treatment. Developing better, adapted formulations for children, most importantly ABC-based regimens, would go along way towards scaling up HIV treatment.
The All Ukrainian Network of People living with HIV/AIDS welcomes the announcement as highly important for children living with HIV in Ukraine: “We are delighted that ViiV has reacted positively to our request and has included Ukraine into the MPP licence for paediatric abacavir, an important medicine for children living with HIV. Given the current situation in Ukraine, initiatives that result in access to lower priced ARVs are particularly important.”
The steps by MPP and ViiV Healthcare to widen the licensing territory for this key medicine underscore the commitment to improving HIV paediatric care throughout a wide range of low- and middle-income countries.