President of AIDS Society of India
Title: Global Control of HIV, HCV and Infectious Diseases - India is not a problem, but a solution
Biography: Ishwar Gilada
The global AIDS Epidemic has completed 36 years of its devastating presence killing over 35 million people. Yet India has brought hope to millions, for making HIV- a chronic, manageable and affordable disorder. Last decade has witnessed astounding evolution in ART, from treating few to ‘Treat-All’ culminating in the WHO’s 90-90-90 by 2020 target, piggybacking on India’s strength.
Fixed dose combination like anti-TB treatment, invented in India made ART affordable @1% of innovators’ cost, accessible– meets 80% of global ART and easier with single-dose regimen. Innovators called Indian Generics copy-cats. When ‘West copies East’, why apply different yardsticks? Indian pharma risked inviting litigations, circumvented patents using reverse engineering and steadily brought down cost, with 100% bio-equivalence. Cheapest FDC annual cost is down from US$ 10,439/- per patient to $69.
‘Magic’ cure for HIV is distant, but there are strategies and possibilities to end the epidemic. Indian ARVs are available including the newest Dolutegravir @2% of innovator’s cost. For HCV cure, full course Sofosbuvir costs USD 84,000 globally, but in India its USD 1000 per patient through innovator’s voluntary licenses and USD 300 by patent violator, @0.3% of International cost!
Treating HIV-HCV is a public health imperative to prevent new transmissions, morbidity and mortality and delay will have grave public health consequences. Imagine a scenario of millions of HIV-HCV infections, minus India! Millions more would have died leading African continent towards extinction! The world recognised the Indian pharma strength in saving millions for decades from range of health issues only after HIV.
Conclusion: In patents versus patients, the balance tilts towards patients to bridge the enormous gap. Its a herculean task and will only be possible by an intensive and joint efforts of all including innovators. India will continue humanitarian mission to make life saving medicines affordable and accessible.