Policy & Politics
Bush Administration Under Pressure to Allow Purchase of Generic Combination Antiretroviral Drugs With AIDS Relief Plan Money
March 25, 2004
The Bush administration is facing "mounting pressure" to allow the purchase of generic combination antiretroviral drugs -- instead of name-brand drugs -- as part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Wall Street Journal reports. The issue is expected to be discussed on Monday at a meeting in Botswana on international standards for evaluating generic combination drugs (Lueck, Wall Street Journal, 3/25). PEPFAR, which was submitted to Congress last month, details the Bush administration's five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative, which seeks to prevent seven million new HIV infections, provide care for 10 million people living with the disease and provide treatment to two million HIV-positive people living in 14 African and Caribbean countries (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/4). The plan states that procurement of drugs for the initiative "will have to fit within the parameters of existing federal and international law for the protection of intellectual property rights." Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the new State Department Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, has said that the administration is open to the use of generics. He said that FDA, the World Health Organization, UNAIDS and other groups at the Botswana meeting will discuss principles that can be used to examine alternatives in the market (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/24).
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