Press Release

Fostering Access to Innovative Medicines in Indonesia

PhRMA December 7, 2012

Washington, D.C. (December 6, 2012) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO John Castellani issued the following statement today in response to the September 3, 2012 Indonesian Presidential Decree (76/2012) that grants compulsory licenses on nine innovative biopharmaceutical products:

“America’s biopharmaceutical companies are strong supporters of Indonesia’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.  Innovative medicines have helped thousands of patients in Indonesia to live fuller, longer lives.  As a matter of policy, the solution to helping patients with HIV/AIDS lies in furthering the constructive relationships between our member companies and the Indonesian government and not in breaking patents or denying patent rights to HIV/AIDS medicines.

“PhRMA is troubled by Indonesia’s recent decision to issue government use permits without attempts to engage the PhRMA member companies in discussions to find more sustainable and long-term solutions.  We are further concerned that a number of patents on different products were aggregated together and dealt with as a group rather than considering each on its merits.  This raises significant issues about whether such an approach is consistent with international norms.  Moreover, suchdrastic measures should only be used in extraordinary circumstances as a last resort rather than standard government practice.   

“While PhRMA wants these issues addressed we are also aware of the challenges presented by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Indonesia.  PhRMA member companies are prepared to work collaboratively with Indonesian authorities to find a solution which benefits HIV patients in Indonesia.

“Our member companies are committed to helping HIV/AIDS patients throughout Indonesia.  Biopharmaceutical companies are further committed to helping patients around the world by doing what they do best—developing new medicines and vaccines to treat this terrible disease.  In 2012, 73 medicines are in development in the U.S. to treat HIV/AIDS, including 25 new vaccines.  Almost 20 years ago, this life-threatening disease was considered a death sentence.  Today, HIV/AIDS is a manageable chronic disease for many patients, thanks to the cutting edge medicines developed by America’s biopharmaceutical research companies.  However, in order to foster the next generation of medicines to treat HIV/AIDs, it is critically important that the climate for innovation supports this important research for the health of patients worldwide.” 

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.5 billion in 2011 in discovering and developing new medicines.

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