AIDS Organizations Raise Grave Concerns in Anticipation of Ex-Pharma CEO's Confirmation as Head of Bush AIDS Plan.Business Editors
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 30, 2003
A coalition of AIDS advocacy organizations including Health GAP, Global AIDS Alliance, Africa Action, Student Global AIDS Campaign The Student Global AIDS Campaign (SGAC) is an advocacy group with more than 85 chapters at high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States. The group is committed to bringing an end to HIV and AIDS in the U.S. , AIDS Policy Project, Center for Health and Gender Equity and the Washington Office on Africa, demanded answers today to critical questions regarding the confirmation of Randall ("Randy") Tobias as head of the Bush global AIDS program. Tobias, who will begin confirmation hearings September 30 in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is the recently retired CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of U.S. pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and influential Republican campaign donor.
Recent battles at the World Trade Organization (WTO See World Trade Organization. ) over providing access to affordable generic medicines make clear that such access is not in the interest of the pharmaceutical industry--an industry that held the allegiance of Tobias for many years. "It would be one thing if Tobias could boast experience in the field of AIDS or public health," said Brook Baker of Health GAP. "But being poorly qualified and having questionable priorities on access to affordable life-saving drugs is bad medicine for people living with AIDS."
Announcements of the president's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan) is a commitment of $15 billion over five years (2003–2008) from United States President George W. Bush to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. (EPAR EPAR European Public Assessment Report
EPAR Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
EPAR Electronic Personnel Action Request
EPAR Employee Performance Appraisal Report
EPAR Erasmus Phd Association Rotterdam ) have indicated that the plan calls for use of affordable generic medicines, utilizing triple combinations of antiviral drugs Antiviral Drugs Definition
Antiviral drugs are medicines that cure or control virus infections.
Antivirals are used to treat infections caused by viruses. available at $300 or less per person per year. Even with the price reductions offered by branded pharmaceuticals to some sectors of some developing countries, no combinations of brand name antiretrovirals approach the $300 target.
The coalition of advocates closely scrutinizing Tobias's confirmation is reluctant to believe that the retired drug company executive will make good on this promise. "The 40 million people with AIDS The People With AIDS (PWA) Self-Empowerment Movement was a movement of those diagnosed with AIDS and grew out of San Francisco. The PWA Self-Empowerment Movement believes that those diagnosed as having AIDS should "take charge of their own life, illness, and care, and to minimize facing death without access to affordable treatment need experienced public health leadership to direct this program," said Salih Booker of Africa Action. "Tobias has some tough questions to answer," continued Booker. "It is highly problematic that the person chosen by Bush to lead the fight against AIDS brings up concerns of experience and independence before even being put into the position."
"This administration needs a voice of experience on AIDS issues not a pharmaceutical executive with his own cynical agenda," said Dr. Paul Zeitz of Global AIDS Alliance.