Geneva – Following the voluntary licensing agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool and ViiV Healthcare in late 2020, there has been notable progress in Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Kazakhstan regarding the transition to dolutegravir (DTG)-based treatments for HIV. By June 2024, the concerted efforts of various stakeholders have led to significant price reductions and the procurement of treatment volumes that promise to cover a substantial percentage of individuals on antiretroviral treatment (ART).

In Belarus and Kazakhstan, the national HIV programs have successfully procured enough DTG-based regimens to cover 78% and 86% of people on ART, respectively. Azerbaijan is on track to reach 65% of people on ART with DTG-based regimens this year. These achievements were made possible by price reductions of over 90%, reflecting the extensive work of communities, civil society, governments, procurement agencies, funders, clinicians and many others.

This MPP-ViiV licence includes four upper-middle-income countries (UMICs), with Malaysia also benefiting from the agreement. The Ministry of Health of Malaysia is committed to provide people living with HIV with DTG regimens and planning to accelerate the transition to TLD starting from 2025.

This update demonstrates the impact of the continuous efforts and developments in increasing access to DTG-based treatments in these countries. It reflects the commitment to improve healthcare outcomes for those affected by HIV.

Yashar Oruzhov, Director of project Implementation Unit of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control Program, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan, said: “In Azerbaijan, the antiretroviral therapy was launched for the first time in 2006. In 2017, only two patients started receiving dolutegravir as the second-line treatment with the support of the Global Fund. Today, thanks to concerted efforts of the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan, the Medicines Patent Pool, ViiV Healthcare, the Global Fund and other stakeholders, more than 50% of HIV patients on antiretroviral treatment are receiving dolutegravir treatments. In 2024, we will provide more than 65% of them with DTG and TLD. These successful efforts are getting us closer to achieving the 95-95-95 goals.”

Dzmitry Paduta, Head for Specialised Medical care, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus said: “The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus reaffirms its commitment to providing people living with HIV with dolutegravir and its combinations for all those receiving antiretroviral treatment. Thanks to the cooperation with the Medicines Patent Pool, ViiV Healthcare and communities of people living with HIV, right after the licence agreement was signed in 2021, a rapid transition to these medicines started in Belarus and by early 2024, already 68% of people on ART were on DTG treatments. By mid-2024, the Republic of Belarus had already provided more than 80% of HIV patients with dolutegravir and its combinations, which means we are striving towards the end of the epidemic.”

Akmaral Sharypbayevna Alnazarova, Minister of Healthcare of Kazakhstan said: “Kazakhstan continues its work on supporting people living with HIV by providing them with DTG regimens, as the first-line HIV treatment, recommended by the World Health Organization. Thanks to collaborations with the World Health Organization, the Medicines Patent Pool, ViiV Healthcare and HIV communities in the country, in 2024, we are providing more than 85% of people on antiretroviral treatment with dolutegravir based regimens in Kazakhstan.”

Viacheslav Samarin, person living with HIV in Belarus said: “For us, people living with HIV in Belarus, who started receiving DTG based therapy, this licence gave us access to dolutegravir and its combinations, and literally changed our lives. It gave us the opportunity to receive better, more efficient treatments, which significantly improved the quality of our lives.”

Graph: Volumes of generic DTG-regimens procured (expressed in terms of percentage of people on ART that could be covered with procured treatments) by country (2021-2025):

Solid line __ Procurement completed or confirmed POs available
Dashed line – – – – based on procurement plans/commitment from government / MoH