The President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has quietly acted to help tackle his countries HIV crisis. What has he done?
The President quietly issued an order to start producing drugs patented by global pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Gilead in his own country.
Indonesia has set an important precedent, not just for the people living with HIV within its country, who have been campaigning for this, but also for other developing countries.
This is one of the widest licences issued by a government and rightly reflects the reality that a range of treatment options is needed.
— Michelle Childs of Médecins Sans Frontières
Last night, I had difficulty in taking my own HIV medicine. For whatever reason i got terribly upset and weepy but in the end I took it. I am lucky, Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland is able to pay for my treatment, it is able to pay the pharmaceutical companies the price that they dictate for their drugs. In other countries, particularly in the developing world, this is not always the case.
The World Trade Organisations allows member countries to override patents when it is deemed necessary to protect public health.