J&J-Stop TB Partnership Deal a Positive Step but More Is Needed

In Global Advocacy, Global Featured, News, Vaccinate Our World by Brian Shepherd

With Johnson and Johnson (J&J) recently granting permission to Stop TB Partnership to distribute its generic TB drug bedaquiline (SIRTURO) to the majority of low- and middle-income countries, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) applauds Stop TB Partnership and the TB community overall for their strong leadership and advocacy in inking this vital agreement. While the deal is a positive step, AHF agrees with advocates, including Médecins Sans Frontières and others, that this is a short-term solution and urges J&J to do more for other lower-income countries that still lack access.

“Tuberculosis kills 1.6 million people annually and remains the leading cause of death for people living with HIV. We are glad to see steps in the right direction with the licensing agreement between J&J and Stop TB Partnership and hope the pharma giant continues to set a positive example for other drug manufacturers to follow for improved access to intellectual property to produce more affordable generic medicines,” said Terri Ford, Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy at AHF. “That said, this doesn’t let J&J off the hook for its past profiteering with its COVID-19 vaccine and other drugs. It shouldn’t take a massive advocacy campaign by civil society organizations for pharmaceutical companies to put lives before profit.”

While AHF is cautiously optimistic, details of this agreement must be made public. It is being reported that countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which have some of the world’s highest burden of drug-resistant TB, are left out of the deal. AHF urges J&J to grant unfettered access to all countries that need this lifesaving medicine.


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