the value of partnerships in fighting hiv/aids in romania: bringing children new hope

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The Value of Partnerships in Fighting HIV/AIDS in Romania: Bringing Children New Hope. Jeffrey L. Sturchio Vice President, External Affairs Europe, Middle East & Africa Merck & Co., Inc. European Health Forum Gastein October 10, 2004. Mercks contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • The Value of Partnerships in Fighting HIV/AIDS in Romania: Bringing Children New HopeJeffrey L. SturchioVice President, External AffairsEurope, Middle East & AfricaMerck & Co., Inc.

    European Health Forum GasteinOctober 10, 2004

  • Mercks contributionsto the fight against HIV/AIDSLeading scientific discoveries, e.g. structure of protease enzymeDiscovery and development of new therapies: CRIXIVAN, STOCRIN Continuing research to develop safe and effective AIDS vaccineInternational partnerships to increase access to treatment and careAccelerating Access InitiativeEnhancing Care InitiativeACHAPRomania

  • Romanias HIV crisis 1997The issue: Nearly 6000 children in Romania were infected with HIV Romanian government approached Merck We have a problemWe want to deal with this issue

  • Romanias HIV Crisis (contd)

    Infrastructure40 local clinics (Infectious Diseases Hospitals) No equipment for HIV/AIDS monitoringMedical EducationNo treatment guidelinesLow medical knowledge (prohibited diagnostic)Low access to treatment Only 1.5% (30 people )treated according to international guidelines

  • Foundation for Success The National AIDS Program1997 - Establishment of National AIDS Committee (NAC) within MoHNAC developed National AIDS Program (NAP) with 3 strategic steps:Computerized network for case reporting and follow-up National HIV/AIDS treatment guidelinesRegional AIDS Centers able to monitor the treatmentMoH lacked the resources to sustain the Program entirely

  • Mercks Response to the Crisis1998 - Funded printing / distribution of first national treatment guidelines on HIV/AIDS1998 - $40,000 donation to facilitate construction of national AIDS database1999 - $1 million donation to establish national network of regional AIDS treatment centers December 1999 - MSD granted Diploma of Excellence by Romanian National AIDS Committee2002 - Additional $250,000 donation for additional test kits, technical assistance

  • Financial factors leading to increased access Government -- Steady increases in treatment budget from $2.7M in 1997 to $32.0M in 2004Merck -- March 2001 lowered prices of CRIXIVAN and STOCRIN in Romania by 86%Inspired Romania to enter AAI in June 2001, which led to promises of price reductions from other companies

  • AIDS Budget & Treated Patients,000 patientsMil. USDTreated Patients











    Page &P

    AIDS Budget

    Treated Patients



    AIDS Budget2.75.58.51321253032

    Treated Patients1.92.12.434.


    Page &P


  • Government actions in 2001: A new level of commitmentSet new goal - 100% treatment access by end of yearCut import taxes and VAT on treatmentsIncreased treatment budget by 80%, with supplemental allocation for childrenDecree ensuring rights of children with AIDS, including right to treatmentReached out to patients (UNOPA)Established Intersectoral Committee to ensure coordination and implementation of programs

  • HIV in Romania today: the power of parntershipsIn 1997, 5 out of every thousand diagnosed patients received HAARTToday, all patients who need antiretroviral treatment under international guidelines are being treated94% on triple combination therapy6% on other regimensJanuary 2002 GOR announced it had achieved its goalpublicly recognized MSDs role in achieving the targetMay 2002 briefing at UNGASS highlighted success of partnership

  • What did we learn?Political commitment of government is a mustNAC, AIDS Program, increasing fundingNational capacity can be builtRegional AIDS Centers Engagement of all sectors of national society/global community is necessaryPartnership with NGOs, pharmaceutical industrySafe and secure distribution systems are implementableOver 20 distributors for AIDS drugs/medical equipmentPrices must come down -- but this alone is not enough, and third-party financial support is needed10 times increase in AIDS budgetDonations, sponsorships, Global Fund supportSupport for continued investment in R&D by the pharmaceutical industry is critical

  • Bringing Romanian Children New HopePublic-private partnerships, such as the one between the Romanian government and Merck, that combine political commitment with targeted private sector resources, can effectively increase the number of people who have access to international standards of care.


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