More than 80 per cent of the low-cost drugs used to combat the HIV globally are manufactured in India and have helped scale up access to treatment across developing countries, said India’s Health Minister J P Nadda at the United Nations on Thursday.
The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a new political declaration that recognises the “critical importance of affordable medicines, including generics, in scaling up access to affordable HIV treatment”.
“Targeted interventions based on close collaboration with and empowerment of communities and civil society with appropriate funding from the government have helped deliver key life saving services to the affected population,” Nadda said in his address to the 193-member Assembly.
One million people living with HIV get free anti-retroviral therapy to treat the infection in India. Deaths due to AIDS in India have been reduced by nearly 55 per cent since 2007, while new HIV infections saw a 66 per cent fall since 2000, he said.
“These remarkable successes would not have been possible without access to affordable medicines. The low cost generic medicines produced by the Indian pharmaceutical industry have been instrumental in scaling up access to HIV treatment not only in India but in other parts of the world, especially in the developing countries most affected by this scourge,” said Nadda.