The need for global, equitable access to medicines is urgent. Too many people in developing countries are dying because medicines are not available at prices they can afford and health agencies have limited budgets to pay high prices for brand-name drugs. People die because they cannot afford to buy life.
Our work focuses on laws and policies that affect access to antiretroviral and other medicines, such as patents rules in international trade agreements and domestic legislation regulating the price of medicines.
This includes ensuring access to
- comprehensive care, treatment and support for people living with HIV;
- diagnostic tools (such as HIV testing kits), antiretroviral treatment, and other medicines; and
- other kinds of health and support services, including treatment for people with immune systems weakened by HIV, sexual and reproductive health services, addiction treatment, and mental health services.
A high-level body of eminent persons advising UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released its report today declaring that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and similar agreements ratcheting up intellectual property protection and enforcement, endanger countries’ efforts to ensure access to medicines and other health technologies and run counter to their human rights obligations. The High-Level Panel’s report […]
By Richard Elliott, Executive Director, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network September 13, 2016 Later this week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to release at the UN in New York the much-anticipated, and already controversial, report of his High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines. The Secretary-General appointed his High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines in November […]
When International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau took up her post in November 2015, she was tasked with leading Canada’s efforts to “provide humanitarian assistance to help reduce poverty and inequality in the world” and refocusing Canada’s development assistance “on helping the poorest and most vulnerable.” This renewed focus on marginalized communities must underlie the current […]
“The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network welcomes this opportunity to provide our perspectives on the government’s priorities for establishing an international assistance policy and funding framework. When International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau took up her post in November 2015, she was tasked with leading Canada’s efforts to ‘provide humanitarian assistance to help reduce poverty and inequality in the world’ and […]
“As civil society organizations concerned about access to medicines, in your three countries and globally, we write to you in advance of your North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa on June 29. The summit is an important opportunity to demonstrate human rights leadership—nationally, regionally and globally—in the Americas. “In February of this year, the United […]
Toronto, November 30, 2015 — In a briefing paper released to parliamentarians in advance of World AIDS Day (December 1), the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is calling on the new federal government to take decisive steps to address the HIV epidemic, both in Canada and abroad. Laying out five key areas and recommending associated actions, […]
It is time for Canada to re-commit to the global project of ending HIV, including by basing our response on sound scientific evidence and fundamental human rights principles.
November 13, 2015 Last week, the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement was finally made public. Running to more than 6000 pages, it raises a host of grave concerns about its impact on everything from environmental protection to labour and other human rights, from internet privacy to food safety… and much more, including access […]
“We write to you as Canadian civil society organizations concerned about access to medicines, in Canada and globally. A number of us are members of the Global Treatment Access Group (GTAG), a working group bringing together various Canadian organizations advocating for greater access to medicines, and other aspects of the human right to the highest attainable standard of health, in […]
This is the second in a series of blog posts being published by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network ahead of Election Day on October 19, 2015. Recently, we sent a questionnaire to the five major federal parties, asking their position on key questions related to HIV and human rights. Four out of five parties responded. […]
On October 19, 2015, Canada’s voters have an opportunity to decide what kind of government they want — one that has regard for evidence and upholds health and human rights for all, or one that perpetuates outmoded and ill-informed policies
For the last five years, Canada and 11 other countries have been secretly negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), often described as “NAFTA on steroids.” Among many other concerns, health groups have been sounding the alarm that access to affordable medicines for millions of people in the negotiating countries could be one of those things traded […]
“Ever since talks over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) began over five years ago, there have been broad public calls on leaders to make negotiations more transparent and open to the public. In statements, in letters, and in face-to-face meetings with trade representatives, we have urged the adoption of concrete practices that would better enable the kind of open […]
“It is our understanding that Canada will host the next negotiating round of the Trans‐Pacific Partnership, including Chief Negotiators meetings, in Ottawa in early July…. [I]t is critical that Canada ensures and facilitates opportunities for civil society stakeholder engagement with negotiators during the Ottawa round of negotiations….”
“We, the undersigned organizations and activists from the global South and North, are writing to urge the Global Fund to abandon its attempt to launch a “blue-ribbon Task Force” that will focus primarily on developing a global multi-tiered pricing framework for middle-income countries (MICs), which we believe would permanently undermine access to more affordable medicines, […]
“On behalf of advocates for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA), we write to express our concerns about the Fourth Conference on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECAAC) which is being organized with great influence from its host, the government of the Russian […]
“[W]e would like … to ask UNAIDS to call on the United Nations General Assembly to convene a High Level Meeting before September 2015 to assess progress toward the achievement of the goals in the 2011 Political Declaration and to renew the commitments to achieve Universal Access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in […]
“We are Canadian civil society organizations committed to the basic principle that access to medicines and to health care should be equitable, based on need and not on ability to pay, whether at home or around the world. Medicines should not be a luxury. We call on the Government of Canada to reject any proposals […]
Judging the epidemic has been prepared as a resource to help judges, magistrates, arbitrators and other judicial officers throughout the world adjudicate cases involving HIV-related issues. This handbook may also be used by judicial trainers and ministries of justice to deliver educational programmes to judges and magistrates on legal issues related to HIV and human […]