HIV Intellectual Property Amplified (HIPA) seeks to address
challenging intellectual property barriers that prevent access to HIV,
TB and Hepatitis medicines and diagnostics for PLHIV in Zimbabwe.
The key barriers that Zimbabwe face include knowledge gaps (at policy,
implementation and user level) on how to implement different provisions
of the TRIPS flexibilities, challenges related to using compulsory
licenses and insufficient manufacturing capacity in the pharmaceutical
sector (due to a mix of exorbitant cost of production and high royalties
and duties on the active ingredients). However, the key barrier is the
capacity of PLHIV to understand and support advocacy around the IP
barriers to access to treatment.
Zimbabwe is one of the countries with a successful HIV treatment programme.
However, a number of problems particularly those of IP that act as
barriers to access to HIV treatment and diagnostic services are present.
Below are the key challenges:
Limited evidence (research) on the impact of IP on access to treatment
– the cost of not utilizing TRIPS flexibilities.
The lack of a consumer centered research.
Low levels of awareness and knowledge of IP by Civil society in general
and PLHIV in particular. There is need to develop relevant skills in
the field of IP laws which will assist civil society and PLHIV to
advocate the utilization of TRIPS flexibilities.
Low levels of awareness and knowledge on the declarations and how TRIPS
flexibilities should the operationalized by policy makers,
pharmaceutical companies and procurement agencies.
Visibility of IP experts and institutions. Lack of a vibrant consumer
advocacy forum that is spearheaded by the consumers themselves
The legal representatives are currently operating in silos.
IP lawyers tend to have little involvement with human rights law and
few human rights specialists deal with science and technology and IP
The outcomes of the national project include (but not limited to) the below mentioned:
Improved access to patented HIV (raltegravir, ritonavir, etravirine and
dolutegravir), TB and STI medicines at local, national and regional
level due to a change in IP policy or implementation of IP policy.
Policies reflecting PLHIV perspectives through IP policy adaptation
and the introduction of new regulations.
Expanded networks, stakeholders are connected for collaborative TRIPS advocacy
Improve the affordability, quality and accessibility of medicines through provincial CAFs
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As PLHIV in Zimbabwe we realised that:
When ARVs are prescribed:
we just want to receive the best care possible.
the majority of us are unaware that intellectual property is a key underlying factor that can
affect availability and effectiveness of the medicines we are taking
The funding opportunity will help improve PLHIV’s treatment literacy which will in turn improve PLHIV’s treatment.
We demand the best treatment through advocacy.
The support will help to improve public engagement between PLHIV,
government, Ministry of Health and Child Care, National AIDS Council,
Zimbabwe Intellectual Properties Organisation and pharmaceutical
companies using the multi-sectoral approach.
The funding will also help us do strategic advocacy targeted at providing effective treatment
To address these outcomes the programme carried out the below mentioned activities:
Train provincial staff, CSOs and government departments on intellectual properties
Hold community-based trainings to raise awareness on intellectual properties
Produce and share user friendly IEC
Disseminate and share strategic information through national, regional and international servers
Publish bi-annual newsletter
Undertake provincial campaigns
Hold national dialogues in consultation with pharmaceutical companies, ZIPO and ARIPO