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HIV Infection: Drugs

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking on flexibilities in the World Trade Organisation's Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement to deliver affordable generic medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. (194701)

The UK Government support the right of developing countries to utilise flexibilities in the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and in particular to facilitate access to cheaper medicines, including for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. This includes the right to produce, export or import generic medicines under a compulsory licence.

The Department for International Development has also financed a number of organisations including the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) to provide support to developing countries to make better use of their TRIPS flexibilities, including compulsory licensing.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made by his Department towards meeting the G8 commitment to universal access to treatment for HIV and AIDS by 2010; and what funds his Department has allocated to furthering progress in the next two years. (194702)

By the end of 2006, more than 2 million people in developing countries were taking anti-retroviral treatment—up from 100,000 in 2001. Progress towards universal access will be assessed during 2008 at the high level meeting on AIDS.

The UK remains fully committed to ensuring universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and is the second largest Government funder of AIDS-related assistance in the world. Last September the UK made an unprecedented long-term commitment to provide up to £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) up to 2015.