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VOA News Report Examines PEPFAR's Use of Generic Drugs, Discusses Search for HIV Vaccine

September 18, 2012

In a recent edition of VOA News' "Science in the News," correspondents Bob Doughty and Shirley Griffith report on "the growing use of generic drugs in fighting HIV" and discuss "the search for an effective vaccine against HIV." They highlight a study of the effectiveness of PEPFAR conducted by researchers from Brown University in Rhode Island, noting lead researcher Kartik Venkatesh "says the high cost of patented antiretroviral drugs had an immediate influence on the program after it began." They continue, "American officials considered whether to provide patented drugs to HIV-infected patients, both in the United States and overseas," adding, "Using generic drugs helped cut the cost of treating a person [in a developing country] from about $1,100 a year to about $300 a year in 2005."

"For the past 11 years, the Vaccine Research Center at America's National Institutes of Health has been taking part in the search" for an HIV vaccine, the report continues. "There have been many successes and failures," but "the scientists working at the center are more hopeful than ever they will develop a vaccine," the hosts note, and discuss ongoing research at the center. In the report, Doughty and Griffith speak with Guy Jenkins-Bass, who has been living with HIV for more than 10 years, and to Gary Nabel, a researcher at the Vaccine Research Center (9/17).

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