Vienna — Field research presented today by the international medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna provides further evidence that implementing early treatment initiation and an improved first-line regimen significantly reduces mortality rates and makes treatment adherence easier for patients, even in remote settings. This focus on patients is neglected in the dominating messages heard throughout the conference calling for more financial efficiencies in a time of economic recession.
“Drug companies have not been challenged at all on prices at this conference and the head of a major foundation even stated that drug costs are low enough and efficiencies need to be found elsewhere,” said Dr Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of the MSF Access to Essential Medicines Campaign. “What we really need are efficiencies that will benefit people with HIV. That means reducing drug costs much more aggressively, making treatment easier for patients and ensuring more resources to increase access to treatment as early as possible.”