July 08, 2005
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) applauds the leaders attending the G8 Summit in Gleneagles for giving health and development top priority, even in the face of the horrendous attacks in London. In their communiqué, G8 members reemphasized that improvements in global health underpin sustainable growth. Preventive technologies, including AIDS vaccines and microbicides, are crucial for halting the AIDS pandemic and promoting long-term development in Africa.
At last year’s Summit, G8 leaders affirmed the need for an accelerated and more collaborative AIDS vaccine research effort consistent with the principles of the Global HIV/AIDS Vaccine Enterprise. IAVI welcomes G8 leaders’ renewed recognition of the Enterprise in Gleneagles.
IAVI, a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), appreciates the recognition by the G8 of the crucial and innovative role played by mechanisms such as PPPs in leading the research and development (R&D) effort for neglected diseases. PPPs often stimulate critical research in countries hardest hit by these diseases, so that affected countries are increasingly able to contribute to solving their own health challenges.
IAVI also supports the G8’s call for expanded access to AIDS treatment for those in need by 2010. The leaders of the G8 recognized that enhancing care is an essential part of a comprehensive response to the epidemic, but one which must be matched by an increased commitment to strengthening human capacity and infrastructure. This must include systems for clinical trials and adequate healthcare delivery.
Additionally this year, the G8 pledged to move forward on three areas identified by IAVI as priorities for action:
Increased resources: The G8 nations recognized the need for increased levels of direct investment for AIDS vaccine R&D. An analysis released recently by UNAIDS and prepared by IAVI and other organizations determined that in 2004 approximately US$682 million was spent on AIDS vaccine R&D, but that the majority of funding comes from a single public donor, the US Government, while other countries dedicate relatively limited funding to the effort. Additionally it was found that private sector investment is actually falling. IAVI estimates that an increase of approximately US$350-390 million per year is needed to accelerate discovery, testing, and delivery of an AIDS vaccine.
Support for advance purchase commitments: The G8 endorsed advancing market incentives, including advance purchase commitments for AIDS vaccines and other urgently needed products. This will create important incentives for industry to make a greater contribution of resources and expertise. By committing in advance to pay a fair price for new vaccines for resource-limited countries, donors can spur private investment in priority health research and ensure these much-needed products are made available as quickly as possible. IAVI looks forward to working with the G8 Ministers of Finance to further develop an advance purchase mechanism.
Expanded partnerships with developing countries: Eleven developing countries engaged with G8 Summit leaders at Gleneagles this year, an important recognition of the need for developed and developing countries to work in closer collaboration to tackle global health, development, and security challenges. Expanded partnerships between researchers in the North and South are needed to build R&D capacity of developing countries and to encourage them to focus their talents on AIDS vaccines and other global health technologies. Assistance to strengthen regulatory systems and research infrastructure can help developing countries play an expanded role in clinical testing of AIDS vaccines.
IAVI will continue to work with its partners to translate this year’s G8 commitments into increased funding, purchase guarantees, and expanded partnerships with the developing world to accelerate the development of an AIDS vaccine. A comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS as described by the G8 has the potential to save millions of lives and support billions of dollars of economic growth for Africa and the world.