Scaling local pharmaceutical production to end AIDS by 2030
Venue: UN Conference Room 1
Reversing and ultimately ending AIDS as a public health threat requires implementing the Fast-Track approach and achieving the 90–90–90 treatment target. Reaching the 90–90–90 treatment target requires that we also actively explore opportunities for the local production of antiretroviral medicines alongside the removal of structural barriers to access, and the overall strengthening of systems for health. Substantial progress has been made in the 15 Member State Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region, through the ECOWAS Regional Pharmaceutical Plan 2014–2020, developed in partnership with the United Nations, the West African Manufacturers Association, the regional banks, partner countries and within the framework of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa of the African Union. However, Africa is still highly dependent on imported medicines (around 98% of its antiretroviral medicines), and there are critical challenges hindering progress in local production—limited market, high dependency on external aid for medicines and because cooperation between local manufacturers and technical and development partners and national authorities is yet to be optimal.
The West African Health Organisation (ECOWAS) and UNAIDS are jointly convening this side event to explore new opportunities to address challenges and accelerate Africa’s progress in local pharmaceutical production of affordable and quality assured antiretroviral medicines and other health commodities. This includes technology transfer, innovative partnerships and a new paradigm of international cooperation, including South–South, North–South and triangular approaches. It will seek to also discuss how this in turn can address the antiretroviral medicine treatment crisis and improve health outcomes while achieving direct and indirect socioeconomic benefits for all.