On September 3, Indonesia’s President Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a decree authorizing the government’s use of patents for seven HIV/AIDS and hepatitis medicines. By doing so, the Indonesian government expanded access to medicines that will help save and improve the lives of people with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B. If fully implemented, the measure will introduce widespread generic competition and generate major cost savings in the world’s fourth most populous country. The decree licenses patents for several HIV medicines, and represents one of the most robust uses of pharmaceutical patent licensing power by a country since the World Trade Organization’s 1995 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
The presidential decree greatly expands Indonesia’s access to newer and more appropriate antiviral and antiretroviral treatments, including efavirenz, abacavir, didanosin, lopinavir + ritonavir, tenofovir, tenofovir + emtricitabine, and tenofovir + emtricitabine + efavirenz. For more information, including a copy of the decree (in Indonesian and an unofficial English translation), analysis, a table of the licensed medicines, and Indonesia’s response to HIV and hepatitis B, visit www.citizen.org/actions-indonesia.