Civil Society Meets in Kiev to Discuss Increasing Access to PEGylated Interferon in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Kiev, March 28 - Eurasian Harm Reduction Network and Open Society Institute hosted a meeting for civil society organizations and healthcare access advocates to improve access to HCV diagnosis and treatment  in eastern Europe and central Asia.  Attendees discussed methods for increasing access to pegylated interferon, including compulsory licenses, in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine.  Download presentation from the meeting:

- HCV Thailand Country Situation
by Karyn Kaplyn, Thai AIDS Treatment Group
This PPT outlines the prevalence of HCV in Thailand's general population and at-risk demographics, i.e. blood donors and intravenous drug users (IDUs).  It also evaluates the challenges in obtaining Ribavarin and Pegylated Interferon

- Acess to Hepatitis C Diagnosis and Treatment in Ukraine for Patients with Monoinfection and HIV Coinfection
by Konstantin Lezhentsev, All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV.
Displays the prevalence of both HIV and HCV in Ukraine and describes the relationship between the two diseases and the demographics at tirsk for both.  The presentation also includes on what barriers are preventing access to HCV treatment in Nairobi, Beijing, Kharkiv, and Rio de Janeiro.

- An Introduction to Compulsory Licensing and Expanding Access to Pegylated Interferon
by Peter Maybarduk, Essential Action.
Describes the basics of patent law and the TRIPS agreement, including what compulsory licenses are and examples of their use.

- Access to Hepatitis C Diagnosis and Treatment in the Cuntries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia
by Ramya Sheshardi, Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit.
This presentation discusses the demographics of HCV prevalence in several Indian States.  It also includes a discussion of the cost of diagnostics tests and treatments for HCV as well as other abrriers to access in India.  Finally, the presentation discusses Sankalp Rehabiliation Trust's Post-Grant Opposition to La Roche's patent on Pegylated Interferon.
- HCV in Georgia
by Zurab Sikharulidze, MD PhD. Medical Center Uranti.
Displays the demographics of HCV in Georgia, including the general population and several at-risk groups.

- The Treatment of Hepatitis C with PEGylated Interferon Alpha
by Sunil Shaunak MD, PhD. Professor of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College. Hammersmith Hospital, London.
Provides clinical research  regarding the efficacy of and graphic models that describe the process of creating pegylated interferon.  The presentation goes on to propose a model for generic drug manufacture intended to reduce cost and increase access.

- Hepatitis C Scaling Up Current and Future Standard of Care
by Tracy Swan, Hepatitis/HIV Treatment Action Group.
Discusses the problems with HCV diagnostics and the way forward in HCV treatment research.
- Access to Hepatitis C Diasgnosis and Treatment in Kyrgystan
by Madina Tokombaeva, Harm Reduction Network, Kyrgyzstan.
Discusses the prevalence anddemographics of HCV infection in Kyrgyzstan as well as barriers to access of treatment.

Eurasian Harm Reduction Network Promises More Advocacy for Access to Pegylated Interferon

This site provides a summary of the March 28 Kiev meeting as well as other resources.