June 2nd, 2011
Extending the benefits of HIV treatment throughout the world is a passion of mine. As the Worldwide Chairman of Pharmaceuticals for Johnson & Johnson, I’ve been able to see the progress we’ve made in combating this disease over the past few decades. June 5 marks the 30th anniversary of the first report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control of a disease we would later come to know as HIV. During those early years of the epidemic, contracting HIV meant a two-year life expectancy. Today, in the western world, HIV has become a chronic condition that can be managed through modern medicine.
Yet, meeting the individual treatment needs of the estimated 33.3 million people living with HIV throughout the world remains an extraordinary challenge. Our company’s ongoing commitment to addressing this challenge traces all the way back to work in the laboratories of Dr. Paul Janssen. On Friday, May 20, we reported on a major milestone in these efforts.
As a company, we are also expanding the benefits of our HIV drugs to the developing world. We have agreements in place with generic manufactures to produce them for sub-Saharan Africa and India. And we continue to seek ways to provide access to important medicines globally.