Stop AIDS Campaign Home Photo: Lutheran World Relief



Stop AIDS Campaign coordinator Diarmaid McDonald said:

“This decision by Johnson & Johnson flies in the face of their public image as a trustworthy friend of parents. By refusing the invitation to join talks with the Patent Pool they are closing the door on an initiative which could help countless parents and babies access their life-saving HIV drugs. We’re here in bikinis and speedos asking them to accept the invite to the Pool Party. We really hope they reconsider so we can welcome them to the party.”

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), which is supported by the UK and US governments, is an innovative approach to tackling the barriers to affordable HIV medicines, creating a one-stop-shop which should make it easier for generic manufacturers to produce more affordable, more effective drugs. Established by UNITAID in September 2010, the MPP is already in negotiations with four pharmaceutical companies including GSK/Viiv and Gilead to reach agreement on their participation.

Johnson & Johnson’s refusal to enter talks has particularly angered campaigners as the National Institutes of Health, the US government’s medical research arm, has already reached agreement with the MPP for the rights they own on Darunavir – a promising new HIV drug that could be particularly useful for people living with HIV whose current medication is failing. J&J own the rest of the patent rights, so by turning their backs on the MPP they are effectively blocking generic production of Darunavir through the Pool.

Lotti Rutter who coordinates the Student Stop AIDS Campaign called on the public to support the campaign by taking action at

“One of the problems in the past has been companies making small, tokenistic efforts to ease access to treatment. The Medicines Patent Pool is a solution which aims to be industry-wide, matching the scale of the challenge. It’s very frustrating that instead of supporting the pool and joining the party, J&J instead announced they’re going to play by themselves – an isolated initiative which will never solve the huge problems that the Patent Pool could.

“This is just the start of the campaign – with so many millions waiting for HIV treatment we will keep pressuring J&J to join until they change their mind. We hope the parents and families who use Johnson & Johnson products will support us and go to our website to send a message to Johnson & Johnson to live by their motto and help ensure there are ‘no more tears’ for the children waiting for HIV treatment.”

> CLICK HERE to send Johnson & Johnson an invite to join the Patent Pool Party!


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