Thursday, March 26, 2009

April 1st: Pragmatic Solidarity with those Dying for Drugs

What to do:
April 1st, 2009 is traditionally April Fool’s Day. This year, we are exposing the government’s foolish delay in delivering life-saving drugs to people in developing countries who desperately need them.

Almost five years ago, Parliament responded to the urgent need for medicines in many developing countries by creating “Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime” (CAMR), with the goal of getting affordable medicines to people in the developing world. Unfortunately, that laudable initiative was, and is, seriously flawed.

But now there is a chance to fix it!

On April 1st join the National Day of Action Activity in your city and demand that Canadian parliamentarians act now to streamline the law!

Date: April 1st, 2009
Time: 12:00 p.m.-2:00p.m.

Halifax- Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, Dalhousie University Campus.

Montreal- Milton St. and University St. McGill University

Ottawa- The Hill.
Contact Kimberly Bowman for further details

Toronto- College Street and University Avenue (North-West Corner).

Winnipeg- University of Winnipeg

Vancouver- Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street.

Please contact Eowynne Feeney at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network at efeeney(at) for more information about the campaign.

What's happening:
The Canadian government has the ability to save lives and get essential medicines to ailing patients in developing countries. Right now, we could help thousands of people in developing countries survive — especially children.


•2.3 million children under the age of 15 are infected with HIV.
•One in two children with HIV in the developing world dies before reaching his or her second birthday.
•Less than 15% of the 780,000 children who need treatment are on the necessary medicines.
•More than half a million children die of AIDS every year, “simply because the world imposes such an obscene division between rich and poor,” says Stephen Lewis, the former UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Every day matters. The timing is crucial.


•Amendments to the legislation are being prepared right now.
•Canada’s largest generic drug company, Apotex, has promised to make a lower-cost children’s version of a key AIDS drug for export – IF Canada’s law is streamlined.
•Current treatments for children – even where available – are challenging. For instance, kids struggle to take bad-tasting syrups, which are hard to store and refrigerate, need to be taken frequently and are difficult for the caregiver to transport the required large quantities from hospitals to homes.

If Parliament fixed Canada’s access to medicines law, we could help. People can’t afford further delay by the Government of Canada. Each day, thousands of people infected with HIV die – just because they don’t have access to affordable medicines needed to save their lives.