BRICS Health Ministers Agree To Improve Access To Low-Cost Medicines

Health ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa in Beijing “on Monday vowed to improve access to low-cost and high-quality medicine – and called on developed nations to shoulder responsibility in helping the poor,” Agence France-Presse reports (7/11).

“We agree to establish and encourage a global health agenda for universal access to affordable medicines and health commodities,” according to a statement from the ministers of the so-called BRICS nations, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C writes. “They urged increased access to ‘new and innovative antiretroviral therapies … to accelerate progress towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support,'” as well as “better treatment and research for tuberculosis and malaria and greater access to diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis,” the news service notes (7/12).

“The meeting Monday was the first ministerial-level meeting of health officials from the bloc of emerging countries. The five BRICS members account for 40 percent of the world’s population,” the Associated Press/Forbes writes (7/11).