May 20, 2014
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has released a new guidebook encouraging low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to make greater use of competition law and policy to increase access to HIV treatment and other health technologies.
Governments and civil society actors in a growing number of countries have successfully used competition law to promote healthy, open and fair market conditions in the health technologies sector, “yet many others are only now recognizing the importance of competition law, and are beginning to devote more legislative and administrative resources to the field,” Frederick Abbott, editor and one of the five authors of the guidebook, said.
Scaling up access to HIV treatment
Great strides have been made in recent years in scaling up access to treatment for HIV and its co-infections. As of the end of 2012, the large majority of the estimated 9.7 million people on life-saving HIV treatment globally were on generic antiretroviral medicines. But new policy approaches are needed to ensure LMICs can sustainably finance their AIDS responses: treatment guidelines now recommend more patients start treatment earlier, and more patients now require newer, more expensive treatments. Implementing competition laws and actively using them in the health technologies sector can be one such pathway for LMICs to sustain their treatment programmes.
Access ‘Using competition law to promote access to health technologies’, UNDP, May 2014