López, Glenda y otros c. Instituto Venezolano de los Seguros Sociales (IVSS) s/ acción de amparo. Expediente 00-1343. Sentencia N° 487. [ENG]
Amparo action seeking supply of drugs needed to treat HIV/AIDS. Court order requiring Instituto Venezolano de Seguros Sociales to supply the drugs on a regular and consistent basis. Effect of decision extended to cover all persons in the same situation.
A group of persons living with HIV and covered by Instituto Venezolano de los Seguros Sociales (IVSS) filed an amparo action against IVSS requesting it to ensure regular and consistent supply of triple-therapy drugs and other drugs needed to treat opportunistic diseases, as well as to provide coverage of expenses of all necessary medical tests. The petitioners also requested that the effect of the decision be extended to all HIV-positive persons covered by IVSS. The Court found that the failure denounced by the petitioners was a violation of the right to health and a threat to the right to life, as well as a breach of the right to the benefits of scientific and technological progress, and to social security, as set forth by the Constitution of Venezuela and international human rights conventions. Furthermore, the Court decided in favor of extending the effect of its decision to all persons in the same situation, considering this derived from the right to effective court protection. Consequently, the Court granted the amparo requested by the petitioners and extended its effect to all HIV-positive persons covered by IVSS who legally qualified for social security benefits and who requested IVSS to supply the drugs and to cover treatment specific medical tests.
Keywords: López, Glenda y otros c. Instituto Venezolano de los Seguros Sociales (IVSS) s/ acción de amparo. Expediente 00-1343. Sentencia N° 487, Social, Security, Welfare, Rights
On December 2, 2002, the Constitutional Division confirmed its decision dated April 6, 2001 in Loreto Tabares y otros (see decision at http://www.tsj.gov.ve/decisiones/scon/Diciembre/3013-021202-02-0481.htm
and attached). The action had been filed by a group of patients against IVSS alleging its failure to supply drugs with the frequency required by the physicians prescribing them.
Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (PROVEA)
Acción Ciudadana contra el SIDA (ACCSI).
The significance of this case lies in the court's acknowledgment of common rights, i.e. the legitimacy of the petitioners to represent the whole affected group. This enables all HIV-positive persons covered by IVSS to invoke this decision without having to resort to the courts.