Latest Atazanavir Campaign News

November 17, 2014 - Letter sent to President Ollanta Humala of Peru requesting a compulsory license on the HIV medication atazanavir in Peru

November 17, 2014 - Letter sent to Ministry of Health of Peru requesting a compulsory license on the HIV medication atazanavir in Peru

October 31, 2013-The Economic Times: Patent office rejects BDR Pharma's compulsory licensing application

August 6, 2013:
Kractivism: Press Release- Campaign for Affordable Trastuzumab (links to

August 5, 2013 -
Bio World: China Revokes Viread Patent; Pricing Was at Issue (links to

May 30, 2013- The Jakarta Globe: Future Hepatitis C Blockbusters May Spawn Compulsory Generics (links to

March 18, 2013-
ACTION! Essential Inventions issues request for non-voluntary authorization to use patents under Article 14 of Greece patent law (links to

March 17, 2013-Financial Times: Athens urged to import generic drugs (links to

December, 2012
Secondary Patenting: A Threat to Affordable Generic Patenting by I-MAK

November 2, 2012- Nature: NIH asked to grant open license on HIV drug (links to

Compulsory Licenses and Right to Health Litigation

Compulsory Licensing

Crucial right of countries for expanding access to medicines

Countries may exercise their right to issue compulsory licenses to expand access to medicines that are still protected by patents. A compulsory license is a special mechanism that authorizes a government to introduce generic competition for a patented product in exchange for royalty payments to the patent holder. Various countries have issued compulsory licenses on to expand patient access to medicines, ranging from HIV to cancer treatments. Unfortunately, due to various international and domestic pressures, this right is under-utilized by countries whose citizens would benefit.

Litigating the right to health

Human rights law and its relationship to intellectual property protection and access

More than 100 countries have incorporated a right to health into their constitutions, and 160 have acceded to this right through their international treaty obligations. And, in the last fifteen years, domestic courts have gone far to safeguard this right: courts have not only granted plaintiffs access to specific medications, but also commanded governments to make particular medications available to all citizens. More recently, domestic courts have also displayed a growing willingness to use human rights laws to reinterpret and even strike down IP laws that impede access to medications.

Kaletra Campaign

A worldwide campaign to expand access to a vital HIV treatment

On November 10, 2011, public health groups in a dozen countries launched a global campaign to challenge Abbott Laboratories’ monopolistic hold on Kaletra (lopinavir+ritonavir), a critical HIV/AIDS medicine. The goal was to spur competition by generic drugmakers and thereby lower the medicine’s price, as well as to free up its components for new and improved combination treatments. The campaign comprises an unprecedented global effort to fight Big Pharma’s political power and improve access to lifesaving medicines.

Atazanavir Campaign in Peru

A campaign to obtain a compulsory license on an important and expensive HIV medication in Peru

On November 17, 2014, public health activists in Peru sent a letter to the Peruvian president, Ollanta Humala, and the Peruvian Ministry of Health requesting that the president issue a compulsory license on atazanavir, an important, second-line HIV drug. The grant of a compulsory license on this medication would save the country 26 million nuevo soles (roughly USD $9 million). Until Bristol-Myers Squibb’s patent on atazanavir expires in 2019, Peru will spend over USD $44 million more than it would if it had purchased the generic version of the drug under a compulsory license. Because atazanavir currently accounts for 50% of the Peruvian government’s HIV/AIDS budget, these savings would be extremely valuable: Peru could redirect these funds toward the purchase of other medications its population cannot afford, new hospital facilities and equipment, and patient care.

About the Kaletra Campaign

Information on Access Actions by Country

"Acting in concert around the world, we will fight pharmaceutical monopoly abuses".--Luz Marina Umbasia, attorney for Colombian treatment groups
"We are launching competition campaigns in many countries so we can work together for access"--Sindi Putri, ITPC Indonesia

About the Atazanavir Campaign

Access Story Spotlight

Peruvian civil society groups call on President Humala to issue a compulsory license on atazanavir, an important, second-line HIV medicine.   "I wish the drug company would lower the price, as I know that the number of people taking Kaletra is growing higher and higher – and there are many more who can’t afford the treatment they need." --Naza of Malaysia's PT Foundation 

Back to Public Citizen Global Access to Medicines Home Page

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