27 February 2013

Africa: Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation Announces Support for Pediatric HIV Treatment Agreement

press release

Collaboration between Medicines Patent Pool and ViiV Healthcare will save children's lives

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) applauds the collaboration between the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and ViiV HealthCare to provide a vitally important pediatric HIV medication to millions of children around the world.

ViiV Healthcare, a collaborative comprised of GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Shionogi, will provide the MPP with the license to abacavir, a World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended drug for pediatric HIV.

Under the agreement, abacavir will be available in 118 countries, helping millions of children get the treatment they need to survive. In the future, MPP and ViiV Healthcare will work together to create low-cost versions of new medications for children living with HIV and AIDS.

"This is welcome news for the smallest patients living with HIV," said Dr. Laura Guay, EGPAF vice president for research. "This partnership will help millions of HIV-infected children in the developing world access critical medicines to treat their infections and keep them alive and healthy."

Children represent one out of every seven new HIV infections worldwide, but children lag far behind adults in treatment coverage. Only 28 percent of eligible children received antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2011, compared with 58 percent of adults.

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