Building lobby capacity to challenge pharmaceutical monopolies in South East Asia

Building lobby capacity to challenge pharmaceutical monopolies in South East Asia


APN+ is a peer-based advocacy organisation for people living with HIV in South East Asia. The project aims to strengthen communities in the Asia Pacific region to advocate for the elimination of intellectual property barriers. A key part of the program relates to harmful IP provisions in Free Trade agreements between developed and developing countries, with a specific focus on the Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations between 16 countries of the Asia-Pacific. Harsh IP provisions proposed by Japan in these negotiations are of grave concern to the future treatment access in the region. In addition, activities in Indonesia will focus on the implementation of compulsory licences, in Vietnam on repelling TRIPS-plus provisions in the TPP negotiations and on advocacy for local production of HIV and Hepatitis C treatment. In Myanmar an IP law campaign will be launched to advocate for the full use of the TRIPS transition period.

Project details

Time frame
31 January 2015 - 30 January 2018
€ 120,000
Active in
Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam


Main outcomes:
# APN+ members strengthened in the 10 RCEP negotiating countries to advocate for the elimination of harmful TRIPS-plus provisions in the RCEP negotiations ensuring space for production, import and export of safe, effective and affordable medicines in the region.
# The implementation and use of patent flexibilities in Indonesia, leading to increased access to affordable treatment for Hepatitis C
# The full use of the TRIPS transition period in Myanmar and the education of stakeholders, like community groups, government, medical professionals on issues around medicine patents, intellectual property and medicine pricing for them to take a role in advocacy activities.
# The elimination of TRIPS-plus provisions in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) Negotiations in Vietnam and the stimulation of local production of key ARVs and hepatitis treatment.


In the Asia Pacific Region, the number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) has increased steadily to an estimated 39% of all people eligible for ART according to 2010 WHO Guidelines. This progress has largely been made possible by the dramatic drop in antiretroviral (ARV) prices over the last ten years due to generic competition. However, the region continues to lag behind the average global treatment coverage level of 47%, and the annual number of new HIV infections cases is still 50% higher than the annual increase in the number of people receiving ART. In addition, most people in low and middle-income countries do not have access to the newer generation of treatment regimens.

Legal space has been created for countries to produce and procure generic medicines through the ‘flexibilities’ described in the 2001 Doha Declaration on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and Public Health. India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have made productive use of such flexibilities to procure or produce life-saving generic drugs including ARVs. In the case of India, this has benefited millions of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the region and beyond. However, most countries in the region have not yet made full use of these flexibilities. Moreover, in recent years, the EU and the USA have proposed the inclusion of so-called ‘TRIPS plus’ provisions in bi- and multi-lateral, and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) with low and middle-income countries in the region. If adopted, these provisions would adversely impact access to generic medicines, including ARVs, tuberculosis and hepatitis C treatment.


Everyone living with HIV worldwide receives treatment
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