J&J and PEPFAR are working to provide ART therapy to more children in developing countries.
Although AIDS is typically associated with adults, across the globe there are nearly 2 million children under the age of 15 dealing with the disease. Most (close to 90%) of them live in sub-Saharan Africa, and only about half of these children receive HIV treatment. Even those children that do receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) do not do as well as adults in Africa receiving the same treatments, often due to drug resistance. These children are in need of follow-on (second- or third-line) treatment regimens to which they have not developed a resistance in order to maintain their health.
Recently, Johnson & Johnson announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies business Janssen Pharmaceutica NV will be partnering with PEPFAR, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, to help more children in Africa living with AIDS receive appropriate ART treatments.
One of the key issues that must be addressed is the lack of incentives for generic manufacturers to supply pediatric AR medicines. Through PEPFAR, Janssen is therefore working with the United States Agency for International Development to develop an effective procurement model that will enable the provision of a pediatric formulation of its ART darunavir 75 mg. PEPFAR is also working with a number of generic drugmakers.
This initiative by Janssen builds on its New Horizons Collaborative, which the company established in 2013. This pediatric HIV treatment donation program is now available in 10 countries. Through the program, child-friendly formulations of darunavir and etravirine are provided free of charge to eligible countries with the clinical capacity and willingness to address second- and third-line pediatric HIV treatment.