Mon, 12/09/2013 - 10:10am
Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, today announced a first-of-its-kind pediatric HIV treatment donation program to improve access to the company's approved HIV medicines for children and adolescents failing HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. At a symposium entitled "When Children Need HIV Treatment Beyond First-Line: How Can We All Respond?" at the 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), Ministries of Health (MOHs) in sub-Saharan Africa were invited to submit a formal Expression of Interest to participate in the charitable pediatric HIV treatment donation program.
Through this program, Janssen will donate its HIV medicines Prezista (darunavir) and Intelence (etravirine), including child-friendly formulations, free of charge to eligible countries with the clinical capacity and willingness to address second- and third-line pediatric HIV treatment. Each child enrolled will receive Janssen's donated HIV medicines as needed until they turn 19 at which point they will be transitioned into the adult national HIV program or other designated by the national HIV program for continued treatment.
The donation program is intended to be a first step in a broader collaborative effort to build awareness, incite action, and advance learning around second- and third-line pediatric HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. Janssen is working with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), and MAP International to fully maximize the impact and reach of this initiative.
"The donation program is part of our longstanding commitment to help people living with HIV and enhance access to our medicines for those in need. Only a third of the 3 million children living with HIV are receiving medicines today, and of those children receiving treatment, a small but growing number are experiencing HIV treatment failures and are in need of new treatment options," said Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer, Johnson & Johnson and worldwide chairman, Janssen. "We hope this innovative donation program is the first step in sparking further collaborative action across sub-Saharan Africa for children who are experiencing HIV treatment failure. Our vision is that these children receive the HIV treatment and care they need to stay healthy and grow to become healthy, productive young adults."
Treatment of pediatric HIV remains significantly neglected in sub-Saharan Africa. Responding to the challenge of HIV treatment-experienced children requires a comprehensive effort to help guide countries in the provision of necessary and appropriate care for this neglected population. This includes improving understanding of the problem, expanding national treatment guidelines beyond first-line, increasing healthcare capacity for pediatric HIV treatment and monitoring, and ensuring that availability of co-administered HIV medicines remains a priority.
The submission period for the Expression of Interest by country MOHs to participate in the drug donation initiative will run from Jan. 15 until Feb. 14, 2014. An independent, third-party review committee of international experts in pediatric HIV will review all applications to determine country eligibility to receive the donation. Country approvals will be announced in March 2014. Countries interested in more information or submitting an Expression of Interest should visit:www.pedaids.org/treatmentdonation.
Date: December 9, 2013
Source: Johnson and Johnson