Today, Act Up-Paris and other activists took possession of Bristol Myers Squibb’s booth during more than half an hour. After having closed the booth, they asked to talk to a representative of the pharma lab. They talked to the head of the communication who answered activists questions — into the megaphone and in front of lots of video cameras — regarding the issue of the threats of stockouts of the pediatric antiretroviral Videx. The activists wanted to denounce Bristol Myers Squibb contempt towards people living with HIV, and CSOs.
For the background, please read this article.
The head of communication answered the activists that they will start the production of Videx in New Jersey beginning of august, without waiting for Affsaps approvals required for supplying, that the pharma expects by the end of next month. He also add that BMS gave $200,000 to a US NGO, for it, in case of stockouts, to buy non-prequalified generic didanosine to south african generic manufacturers.
We will make sure that these commitments will be scrupulously held, and will be satisfied of this victory when we will have had the certainty that there will not be any stockout of didanosine.
However, several points need to be highlighted :
Without our protests, BMS would have left behind 7000 children, without doing a single thing. This is a lesson that all the pharma companies should remind : we will not hesitate to interpellate you, again and again, on your criminal practices, since that this is the only way for you to understand and to take into account people living with HIV.