Algeria gains inclusion to ViiV Healthcare and MPP adult licence enabling greater access to dolutegravir-based HIV treatments
12 October 2020
Algeria is the newest addition to the list of countries to benefit from access to dolutegravir (DTG)-based treatments under the Medicines Patent Pool’s (MPP) and Aurobindo’s ongoing adult licences with ViiV Healthcare.
As of July 2020, Algeria became a lower middle-income country as per the World Bank classification, and therefore became eligible for inclusion in the adult voluntary licensing agreement between ViiV Healthcare and MPP that has allowed (together with the licence for children) generic manufacturers to produce and sell single and combination versions of DTG for adults and children.
With all its licences, MPP strives to ensure access to medicines to as many people as possible. “We are delighted that our existing adult licence now includes Algeria,” said MPP’s Executive Director, Charles Gore. “Our mission is to ensure everyone everywhere can afford to access the medicines they need.” The country joins the 94 low- and lower-middle-income countries that were already included in the MPP-ViiV Healthcare adult licence.
Helen McDowell, Head of Government Affairs ViiV Healthcare said, “We are 100% committed to responding to the challenges of the HIV epidemic and we know we cannot do this alone. We are very proud, that through our voluntary licences and our partnership with the MPP, we are able to enable greater access to DTG-based treatment options for people living with HIV in line with World Health Organization (WHO) HIV treatment guidelines and our mission.”
The ViiV Healthcare licences allow licensees to combine DTG into the fixed-dose combination of TLD (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, lamivudine and dolutegravir). The one pill a day version represents over 95% of DTG-based treatments provided so far in the countries included in the licence. Since 2017, generic manufacturers have supplied 6.1 billion pills of generic DTG and TLD; this corresponds to at least 6.7 million people living with HIV having access to these WHO-recommended HIV treatments.
Support from country
“We welcome the inclusion of Algeria into the MPP licence for dolutegravir for use in adults, this is a long-awaited complement to our previous inclusion in the paediatric licence and it will allow reduction of the ART bill by 20% and harmonization of treatment guidelines across most populations, allowing us to offer WHO-recommended HIV treatment to all and ensure a better quality of life. Soon, up to 80% of people living with HIV in Algeria will benefit from combinations of antiretroviral treatment with DTG in the first line.”
Dr Djamal Fourar, Director General of Prevention and Health Promotion of the Ministry of Health of Algeria.
“Dolutegravir is a well-tolerated medicine offering a high barrier to resistance and with few side effects and toxicity. This announcement brings new hope to people living with HIV in our country, we now know we will soon be able to access optimal treatment and the single daily pill will make it even easier to adhere to treatment and achieve viral suppression.”
Othmane Bourouba from AIDS Algeria, member of the Algerian network of non-governmental organizations working with people living with HIV.
“UNAIDS is committed to ensure access to affordable antiretroviral treatment for all people who need it. This is essential to achieve the 90-90-90 targets and it also involves mobilizing pharmaceutical companies and states to benefit from public health licensing opportunities and thereby improve access to treatment.”
Adel Zeddam, UNAIDS, Country Director, Algeria
 The number of people living with HIV on DTG-based products is estimated from the total number of DTG and TLD pills supplied by MPP licensees between April 2017 and June 2020 (see latest MPP update on DTG for more information).