Posts Tagged ‘Antigua’

Johnson & Johnson Expands IP Policy to Create Broad Access in 128 Countries for Development of New and Optimized HIV Medicine Formulations for Children Living with HIV

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Expanded Policy will Increase Access for Darunavir Pediatric Formulations in 128 Resource-Limited Countries

– Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica are some of the countries that would benefit with this policy

PANAMA CITY, May 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Johnson today announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies have furthered their commitment to improve the health of children living with HIV through an expanded policy aimed at enhancing access to its HIV medicine darunavir. This policy enables the development of and access to new pediatric products of darunavir in 128 low- and middle-income countries[i], home to 99.8% of children and adolescents living with HIV worldwide[ii] today.

As part of efforts to help meet the needs of children and adolescents living with HIV, Janssen is working to create one of the broadest geographic territories for an access effort for pediatric HIV medicines to date. To that end, Janssen will expand the geographic scope of its 2012 policy not to enforce the patents it owns and controls on the antiretroviral (ARV) drug darunavir, for pediatric products used in low- and middle-income countries. This doubles the original territory of sub-Saharan Africa and Least Developed Countries[iii] announced in 2012. The 2012 policy outlines that Janssen will not enforce its darunavir patent rights, provided the generic versions of darunavir are quality, medically acceptable, and only used in the indicated countries. Today’s expanded policy is applicable only for pediatric darunavir products used in the defined territory. Manufacturers are still responsible for obtaining permissions from other darunavir patent holders and health authorities where appropriate.

These renewed efforts are an outcome of engagement between Janssen and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), directly supporting the recently-launched Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI). PHTI is a partnership between the MPP, UNITAID, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) dedicated to speeding the development of high-priority pediatric co-formulations of HIV medicines and addressing other potential barriers to treatment access for children living with HIV.

Janssen will collaborate with PHTI partners to develop critical new formulations of pediatric HIV medicines to help safeguard the lives of children and adolescents living with HIV. Janssen and PHTI organizations will explore the possible development of a fixed-dose combination (FDC) of darunavir with the boosting agent ritonavir for children living with HIV. Darunavir administered with ritonavir and in combination with other antiretroviral medicines is currently indicated for highly treatment-experienced adult and pediatric HIV patients (third-line) in resource-limited settings and has been recommended by the World Health Organization[iv].  A novel FDC that is safe, effective and child-friendly would be an important step in realizing the global health imperative to close the pediatric HIV treatment gap.

“Our vision is that children living with HIV can receive the treatments they need to stay strong and grow to become productive young adults,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson and Worldwide Chairman, Janssen. “We are committed to ensuring that no child is without access to appropriate, child-friendly HIV treatment options and, most importantly, the hope of a healthy future.”

“Finding innovative solutions for the challenges of pediatric HIV treatment requires us all to think differently and act collaboratively,” said Tomas Matthews, Access Director, Janssen Global Public Health. “We are working to address obstacles in efforts to help protect the health of vulnerable children living with HIV in high-burden countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and elsewhere around the world.”

Janssen and Johnson & Johnson have a longstanding commitment to helping children living with HIV and enhancing access to its medicines for thosein need. For more than a decade, Johnson & Johnson has supported efforts to reduce the number of new HIV infections among children, and in 2011, the company pledged an additional $15 million to support the Global Plan to eliminate pediatric HIV. In December 2013, Janssen launched the New Horizons Advancing HIV Care initiative, a collaborative effort to strengthen country-level capacity, knowledge, and action around the needs of HIV treatment-experienced children. A key feature of this initiative is a treatment donation program for PREZISTA® (darunavir) and INTELENCE® (etravirine) for HIV treatment-experienced children and adolescents.

Johnson & Johnson and Janssen are committed to advancing global health. Its family of companies has launched and continues to support a variety of comprehensive efforts toward strengthening the health of communities, improving maternal and child health, and preventing the spread of infectious and preventable diseases worldwide. For more information on Johnson & Johnson global health programs, visit www.jnj.com.

About Janssen, the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

At Janssen, we are dedicated to addressing and solving the most important unmet medical needs of our time, including in oncology (e.g., multiple myeloma and prostate cancer), immunology (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, IBD and psoriasis), neuroscience (e.g., schizophrenia, dementia and pain), infectious disease (e.g., HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and tuberculosis), and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes).

Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop sustainable, integrated healthcare solutions by working side-by-side with healthcare stakeholders, based on partnerships of trust and transparency. To learn more, visit www.janssen.com.

About Johnson & Johnson

Caring for the world, one person at a time…inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science ‒ bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 126,500 employees at more than 265 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.

References

[i] In addition to all Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as defined by the United Nations and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), countries included in this policy expansion are Algeria, American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turks and Caicos, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, and West Bank and Gaza.

[ii] Calculated using data from: UNICEF. Children, Adolescents and AIDS (2014 Statistical Update). http://www.childrenandaids.org/

[iii] Resource-limited settings under this policy include all Least Developed Countries (”LDCs”) as defined by the United Nations (http://www.unohrlls.org/en/ldc/25/) and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) which are not classified as LDCs.

[iv] World Health Organization. Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Infection in Adults and Adolescents: Recommendations for a Public Health Approach, 2010 Revision. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2010/9789241599764_eng.pdf

CONTACT:  Joan Townsend, Janssen Communication Manager, tojoan01@its.jnj.com

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Dominica Hotelier Urges St. Vincent Prime Minister To Step Aside As Chair Of LIAT

CaribPR Wire, PORSTMOUTH, Dominica , Tues. Feb. 25, 2014: Dominica hotelier, Gregor Nassief, is urging St. Vincent & the Grenadines Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, to step aside as chairman of the shareholder’s committee of regional airline LIAT, in a fourth open letter to the shareholders. Nassief insists that since Gonsalves believes LIAT can never be profitable, then the airline urgently needs a new chairman and ‘general’ who can find a new approach for taking LIAT and the Caribbean aviation industry forward without a perpetual and unfair burden on the treasuries of St. Vincent, Antigua, Barbados and Dominica. The open letter follows.

February 25, 2014

Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

LIAT (1974) LTD

V.C. Bird International Airport

P O Box 819

Coolidge

Antigua

Dear Prime Minister Gonsalves:

Re:  Run it like a business before it goes out of business

On the televised program Time to Face the Facts on Sunday, February 23rd, I appealed to you to step aside as Chairman of the Shareholder’s committee of LIAT.  As mentioned on the program, given the respect and admiration I have for you, particularly on your stance and leadership on issues such as reparations and the cholera outbreak in Haiti, it was personally difficult for me to do this.  But it is necessary.

LIAT has moved from an operational meltdown in the Summer of 2013 to a financial meltdown a mere 7 months later.  LIAT drains our treasuries, operates inefficiently and stifles competition.  The source of LIAT’s problem is its financial unsustainability and as with everything else at LIAT, no one is accountable.  As Chairman of the Shareholder’s committee, the buck stops with you.

LIAT needs to fight the battle of its life to transform itself to be financially viable and sustainable.  But you believe, and have stated so publicly, that LIAT can never be profitable.  This battle, therefore, needs a different general.

Unsustainability

LIAT has lost ec$120m in the last four years.  Last month, LIAT could not pay both the lease on its aircraft as well as its payroll.  So it chose one and delayed the other.  A leased ATR gives 36% more seat capacity than its closest Dash 8 equivalent but is double the (lease) expense.  In 2015, repayments will begin on LIAT’s recent loan of us$65m to purchase new aircraft.   So monthly cash outflows go up even more.

And the new inflows to cover this?  Inter-island tourism is down 60% in 7 years and LIAT’s load factor is running at about 55%.  The fantasy (aka “business plan”) is that the load factor will go up to 75%.  The fantasy is also that LIAT will fly its way out of losses by expanding to new destinations – Jamaica, Haiti, Aruba, Panama, and eventually to cities in North and South America.

LIAT employs 850+ people, flies 22 destinations, operates between 10 and 12 aircraft from 2 hubs (3 if you count Trinidad) to move 800,000+ passengers a year to generate massive losses.

So it’s bail out time again.  Call on shareholders, and call on other good neighbors so that we can continue to drain our treasuries, operate inefficiently and stifle competition.  And for you this is acceptable because LIAT should not be run like a business and can never make a profit.

Our fragile economies can no longer support perpetual bailouts.  If we do not take the bull by the horns LIAT will go out of business – it will employ no one, fly nowhere, operate no aircraft and use no hubs.  But alas, it will generate no losses and competitive players will fill the gaps because LIAT, the airline unfairly propped up by perpetual subsidies, will not be there to run them out of business.

LIAT must therefore immediately begin a journey towards financial sustainability to save itself.  But if the leader does not believe in the journey, then the journey will never begin.  It is on this basis, with full respect and admiration, that I ask you to step aside as Chairman of the Shareholder’s committee, so that a new mandate to make LIAT financially sustainable can be ushered in.

Sustainability

The new chairman of the Shareholder’s committee needs to believe that the battle can be won.  And what needs to be done is not rocket science.

Appoint a Chairman and a Board capable of turning around the financial fortunes of the company and running a top-notch airline.  Give them the authority and autonomy to do what needs to be done.  Allow them to appoint a CEO and restructure the management team as necessary.   Allow LIAT to become a real business free from political interference tasked with a perfect safety record, high employee satisfaction, great customer service and solid financial performance.  A fierce focus on the company’s finances with adjustments made to yield (including renegotiation of government/airport taxes), network efficiency and operating costs will be required.  The resulting operation will have fewer employees, fewer destinations and fewer aircraft.  It will be profitable, dependable and it will deliver great service.  Like any airline, unprofitable routes will continue only with guarantees from the interested party/government.  But at least then, the taxpayers will know what they are paying for, and can make that decision.  And other/smaller airlines will take up the slack.  Competition will flourish, as will LIAT, and the Caribbean will finally get the airlift network it needs.

With a restructured board and executive, confidence in the airline’s financial performance will be established and other Caribbean governments may even want to invest.

At the right time, joint venture the company while maintaining a minimum 50% shares among shareholder governments.  The two best run airlines in the world (Singapore Airlines and Air Malaysia) are run like a business and are profitable and remain owned 50% or more by the State and 50% or less by private interests.  Like LIAT, they were bleeding losses and their shareholder governments could no longer manage the bailouts.  So they took the tough decisions, appointed the right board and executive team, and turned the airlines around to the benefit of all stakeholders.

Yes, it will be painful, but it is necessary.  And most importantly it will pull LIAT back from the financial cliff and put it on a course to long term financial sustainability.

Please consider that I am a hotelier from an island that is almost 80% dependent on LIAT for airlift.  Cut one route to Dominica, and we/Dominica will suffer.  But if my option is (a) to continue to have all the LIAT routes we have today with an airline that is prone to poor service, ad hoc cancellations, occasional and irrational pilot strikes and constantly at the edge of a financial precipice due to insurmountable financial losses – OR – (b) an airline with fewer routes but with good service, dependable schedules and solid financial performance, then my choice is definitely the latter.  And other airlines, once permitted, will take up the slack.

In Summary

Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  And then finally, he invented the electric light bulb.

We have lived through and exhausted the many ways that LIAT won’t work.  It is time to try the way that will.

I appeal to you, Prime Minister Gonsalves, as well as the other Shareholder Prime Ministers, to mandate a new approach for taking LIAT and the Caribbean aviation industry forward without this perpetual and unfair burden on our treasuries.

It is time to run it like a business before it goes out of business.

Respectfully Yours,

Gregor Nassief

Owner/Director – Secret Bay

Executive Chairman – Fort Young Hotel

cc:        Honourable Dr. Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda

Honourable Freundel Stuart of Barbados

Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica

p.s.       As we again desperately seek additional funds for yet another bailout, make it the last please.  Don’t put the money into the black hole of an unsustainable business model.  Instead, use it to restructure the airline, rationalize its operations and place it on a solid long term footing.  In other words, make it the last bailout!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Nassief’s full letter is also available at http://www.scribd.com/doc/209141390/Letter-to-LIAT-Chairman-of-LIAT-s-Shareholders-Committee-February-25-2014-from-Dominica-Hotelier-Gregor-Nassief

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MEI Healthcare Inc. Partners with Caribbean Countries To Build Multi-million-dollar Regional Oncology Facility

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – MEI Healthcare Inc., a leading provider of healthcare strategies and equipment solutions for medical facilities around the world, is partnering with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, the governments of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Global Health Partners, Ltd., to begin construction of The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean at Mount St. John Medical Centre in St. John, Antigua. Groundbreaking for the new $13.5 million (EC dollars) facility will take place Thursday, April 26.

“Our partnership will provide accessible, high-quality cancer care for a population that is underserved,” said Gordon Baltzer, CEO of MEI Healthcare Inc. Baltzer will be speaking at the groundbreaking. “Currently, patients need to be treated abroad, which is costly and incredibly difficult for patients and their families. As a result, many patients have gone without treatment.”

The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean will provide high-quality medical, radiation and surgical oncology services. The facility will include state-of-the-art technology capable of administering intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). The centre will be used as the hub for consultation services being offered to the participating member countries.

“Nearly 1,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed each year in the OECS and, of those, approximately 400 will need radiotherapy at some time in their disease course,” said Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, The Hon. Baldwin Spencer in a prepared statement. “I recognize that currently there are no facilities in the Eastern Caribbean that are truly comprehensive and offer both surgery and radiation…(and) it’s important for us to develop the facilities necessary to provide support to patients who have cancer.”

The Hon. Arthur T. Porter, M.D., Chair of the Board of MEI and a key driver of this project, stated, “MEI insures that the Eastern Caribbean will have the technology platform to deliver modern day cancer therapy at a level commensurate with that of the USA, Canada or Europe.”

During a regional healthcare symposium in 2009, government officials expressed interest in developing a partnership with the private sector to equip a cancer center in Antigua with the latest oncology services and technical expertise. The “partnered care” model being used to create the facility is a cost-effective solution to bringing the latest technology to the region.

MEI provides business development, capital equipment funding strategies and growth consulting services to physicians, hospitals and healthcare systems worldwide.

About MEI Healthcare Inc.

Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., MEI is a comprehensive healthcare strategy firm that works with physician groups and medical centers to provide turnkey healthcare solutions. MEI and its subsidiaries, MEI Development Group, MEI Healthcare Capital, MEI Informatics, MEI Healthcare International and MEI Healthcare Foundation, offer its clients more than 40 years of healthcare business experience and the value-added benefits of its strategic alliances. For more information, visit http://www.mei.com.

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