AIDS Action Europe identified affordability of medicines and diagnostics as a key priority to work on in its Strategic Framework for 2015-2017. AAE produced a training manual and has already organized 4 workshops based across the European Region addressing the issue of access to affordable medicines.
The idea of organizing trainings came up as we have been following as members the European Alliance for Affordable medicines. AAE decided to open a dialogue with its members in order to help the better understanding of the process of developing a new medicine, the obstacles and hidden information that makes this process not transparent and - thus - define ways that as organizations working on HIV/AIDS and co-infections can raise voices advocating for affordable prices and access to old and innovative medicines by those that need them.
28 organizations from 19 countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France Greece Italy Kosovo Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia Montenegro Serbia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey) have participated in the 4 trainings. AIDS Action Europe is planning to implement two more trainings for 2017, one in Russian (coming September in Kiev) for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region and one in English for Southern Europe region (coming October in Athens).
These workshops, apart from being an excellent opportunity for our members to gain knowledge on research & development, and pricing of new medicines, are the right place for networking. During the workshops different ideas on joint initiatives and campaigns came up. Additionally those workshops also proved to be the perfect place to present alternative models on research and development (R&D), such as the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, alternative initiatives on access taken by governments (e.g. the BENELUXA joint negotiations by Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria) or taken by common people (e.g. the buyer’s clubs on generic hepatitis C medications or PrEP). Finally this is also an opportunity to make the conversation about medicines simple and attractive to many, rather than to a few privileged ones.
AIDS Action Europe is also member of the European Alliance for Responsible R&D and Affordable Medicines which is a civil society coalition gathering consumer, patient and public health organizations calling for the creation of an R&D system that is driven by public health needs and delivers medicines that are universally accessible and affordable. You can read the Declaration for Responsible R&D and Affordable Medicines in English and in Russian and you can also join the Alliance.