Bristol-Myers Squibb Statement on Access to HIV/AIDS Medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Developing and Low-Income Countries
For more than a decade, Bristol-Myers Squibb has been an innovator in access programs for HIV/AIDS medicines in developing countries. Our initiatives, informed by our flagship corporate philanthropy program – Secure the Future – to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa, serve as a benchmark for the industry.
BMS was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to offer no-profit pricing for HIV/AIDS medicines in sub-Saharan Africa and low income countries. Today, more than 60 countries qualify for the BMS program. In addition, BMS engages in tiered pricing in middle-income countries based on a number of factors, including affordability and government commitment to care.
BMS was also one of the first companies to state that it would not enforce the patents it holds on Videx® (didanosine) and Zerit® (stavudine) in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2001, the company has entered into eleven immunity-from-suit agreements for these products. In addition, BMS will offer requesting generic companies immunity-from-suit for Reyataz® (atazanavir) in sub-Saharan Africa.
A pioneer in innovative technology transfer agreements, in 2006 BMS granted a royalty-free license to two generics companies, Aspen (located in Africa) and Emcure (located in India), to sell atazanavir in sub-Saharan Africa. BMS also transferred technical knowhow related to atazanavir manufacture and testing to these two generic companies, including training their personnel at BMS facilities as well as their respective manufacturing sites in Africa and India.
Also in 2006, BMS agreed to allow generic companies seeking approval of generic combination products for developing countries, under the U.S. PEPFAR program, access to our confidential regulatory information as long as these companies were operating under appropriate laws and regulations.
BMS has a longstanding commitment to increasing access to HIV medicines in resource-limited settings. We continue to stand by our partners in civil society and government in our shared responsibility to expand access to HIV therapy. BMS will continue to pursue improvements in the treatment of HIV in the future and ensure that patients in need of treatment today can benefit from our currently approved medicines.