Is there a patent for AIDS?

Is there a patent for AIDS?

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The problem with patients with the HIV virus is the vital dependence they have on antiretrovirals. The doctors and specialists consulted share the same phrase: “The drug does not cure. It only prolongs life. If the infection is controlled in time and the patient manages to adapt to the treatment, he can live decades with the disease. But for this, it is necessary to provide him with the appropriate drugs on a continuous basis. And this does not always happen.

The Ministry of Health’s National STI/HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Program is well aware of this feeling of helplessness. “How good it would be if our patients were adherent, if they had no mutations. But the HIV virus is very smart. If the patient doesn’t take the treatment as it is, it causes resistance. We need other drugs. And the more lines, the more specific the drugs are, and they are innovative drugs that have patents. That is where we have more problems,” explains Gerber Solórzano, antiretroviral drug assistant.

How much does antiretroviral treatment cost?

On average, one month’s treatment costs between 6,000 and 20,000 pesos, depending on the brand and the variety of antivirals available, according to infectious disease physicians and directors of the Outpatient Center for the Prevention and Care of AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (CAPASITS).

What is the generic and commercial name of the antiretroviral drugs?

Abacavir, Lamivudine, Maraviroc, Saquinavir and the combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir.

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That AIDS originated?

HIV originated in a type of chimpanzee living in Cameroon, according to a study. Although the most widespread urban legend places the birth of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in a laboratory, the scientific community has long since agreed that it was African monkeys that caused the disease.

Antiretroviral pricing

Two months after South Africa published a draft of the government’s intellectual property policy, it has decided to amend its patent legislation to allow the government to parallel import and break patents as permitted by international conventions. This has been stated by Rob Davies, the Minister of National Intellectual Property Policy, Trade and Industry.

The move comes after patient groups protested that South Africa had not amended its patent laws to incorporate or implement the 2001 World Trade Organization agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that allows the issuance of compulsory licenses and the breaking of patents to allow citizens access to medicines.

The decision comes a decade after South Africa played a major role in the fight against the high cost of AIDS drugs. That was when more than a dozen major global pharmaceutical companies took the country to court to prevent it from allowing the production of cheap generics to fight AIDS. The pharmaceutical companies’ attempt had the opposite effect, as they received enormous worldwide criticism for trying to impose a policy that prioritized monetary profits even though it sacrificed people seriously ill with AIDS.

How long does a person live on retrovirals?

According to a U.S. study, between 2002 and 2007, the life expectancy of a 20-year-old person diagnosed with HIV increased from 56 to 71 years. Although this is still 7 years less than that of a healthy person, it is 15 years of life gained from the disease.

What are the antiretroviral drugs?

Antiretrovirals are drugs designed to interrupt HIV replication in the body. They are called antiretrovirals because they are directed against a retrovirus, HIV.

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How are antiretroviral drugs classified?

They are divided into analogues of pyrimidine bases: adenosine (didanosine) and guanosine (abacavir) and analogues of pyrimidine bases: thymidine (zidovudine and stavudine) and cytidine (emtricitabine, lamivudine). These drugs require three phosphorylations inside the cell to be activated.

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The problem with patients with the HIV virus is the vital dependence they have on antiretrovirals. Doctors and specialists consulted share the same phrase: “The drug does not cure. It only prolongs life. If the infection is controlled in time and the patient manages to adapt to the treatment, he can live decades with the disease. But for this, it is necessary to provide him with the appropriate drugs on a continuous basis. And this does not always happen.

The Ministry of Health’s National STI/HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Program is well aware of this feeling of helplessness. “How good it would be if our patients were adherent, if they had no mutations. But the HIV virus is very smart. If the patient doesn’t take the treatment as it is, it causes resistance. We need other drugs. And the more lines, the more specific the drugs are, and they are innovative drugs that have patents. That is where we have more problems,” explains Gerber Solórzano, antiretroviral drug assistant.

What are antiretrovirals and what are they used for?

Antiretroviral or antiretroviral drugs (ART for antiretroviral therapy) are specific antiviral drugs for the treatment of retroviral infections such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

What is an antiretroviral?

HIV treatment involves taking medicines that reduce the amount of virus in the body. HIV medications are called antiretroviral therapy (ART).

What is the effect of antiretrovirals?

The side effects of anti-HIV drugs may last only a few days or weeks. For example, nausea, fatigue and difficulty sleeping are some of these short-term side effects.

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The NIH is the first research institution to join the HIV drug patent pool launched by UNITAID, a health financing system funded by a levy on airline tickets founded by Brazil, the United Kingdom, Chile, France and Norway in 2006.

But others, including ViiV Healthcare – a joint venture formed by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer to develop HIV drugs – have said they would prefer to pursue their own deals with generic manufacturers in developing countries.

The NIH holds several patents on HIV/AIDS-related drugs and treatments. The announced agreement refers to a class of drugs known as protease inhibitors, used primarily to treat resistant infections.

Philippe Douste-Blazy, president of UNITAID, has welcomed the NIH’s gesture and urged other patent holders to follow suit. Other institutions, such as Médecins Sans Frontières, have also welcomed the U.S. decision.