Sunday, May 8, 2011

Letter to the Editor published!

Letter to the Editor in New Jersey Star Ledger

As a component to my Media Advocacy and Public Health course, I submitted a letter to the editor to the New Jersey Star Ledger regarding an editorial on HIV medication patent pools. I am glad to report that not only was it published but it was the featured letter in its own gray box. Below is a copy and paste of the Letter.

Jump into the pool

The Star-Ledger May 1 editorial “To save lives, Johnson & Johnson should jump into the patent pool” presents a challenging yet vital component in addressing the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. However, it misses one essential piece of the equation: Treatment saves lives and prevents infections.

A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates consistent HIV treatment is an evidence-based form of prevention and could be effective to achieve population-level reductions in new infections. One such study, across seven African countries, enrolled 3,408 HIV-positive individuals and their HIV-negative partners with results showing transmission was 92 percent less likely if the HIV-positive person was on treatment.

The science is clear: Treatment saves lives and prevents infections. However, 10 million eligible HIV-positive individuals worldwide do not have access to treatment — a million plus more than the entire population of New Jersey.

Johnson & Johnson already runs meaningful multimillion-dollar programs protecting the environment and deworming children in Cameroon. However, if it is true to its mission statement’s commitment to provide access to its products for people in need, it should follow the lead of others in the pharmaceutical industry and take a seat at the patent pool table.

Marco Ambrosio, Livingston

Letter to the Editor - (Scroll to Bottom)
Original Article