Clinton Foundation Announces Details of Deal to Cut Prices of Generic Antiretrovirals in Africa, Caribbean
October 24, 2003
Former President Bill Clinton on Thursday announced the details of a program to secure antiretroviral drugs from generic drug manufacturers at discounted prices and to implement nationwide treatment plans in some African and Caribbean nations, the Washington Times reports (Trotta, Washington Times, 10/24). The Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative has secured a deal with India's Ranbaxy Laboratories, Cipla and Matrix Laboratories and South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare that will reduce the cost of commonly used three-drug regimens to 38 cents per patient per day, down from the already discounted price of 55 cents per patient per day for generic drugs; the lowest available price of the same three-drug regimen using brand-name antiretrovirals is $1.54 per patient per day. In addition to reducing the cost of three-drug antiretroviral regimens, the deal will reduce by half the cost of the antiretroviral drug nevirapine for people in developing nations (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/23). The initial pricing agreement covers drugs used in two common, three-drug regimens: stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine; and zidovudine, lamivudine and nevirapine, the New York Times reports.
Two Million People To Receive Drugs
Clinton said, "This agreement will allow the delivery of lifesaving medicines to people who desperately need them" (AP/Washington Post, 10/24). He added, "It represents a big breakthrough in our efforts to begin treatment programs in places where, until now, there has been virtually no medicine and, therefore, no hope" (Friedman, New York Post, 10/24). The program's goals are similar to those set by President Bush's global AIDS initiative (Economist, 10/25). However, Clinton says he is not trying to upstage Bush's initiative and would "welcome" money from the global AIDS initiative, according to the Washington Times (Washington Times, 10/24). Clinton said that the foundation also is planning to work with other organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the Global Fund (New York Times, 10/24). Irish rock star Bono, founder of Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa, said, "This marks a crucial breakthrough in the AIDS emergency, showing that we can, and must, wage a successful war against this ... treatable disease. Now what we need is money on a scale that matches the scale of the crisis. We are waiting to see what the U.S. Congress and other rich countries will do to provide the cash" (Agence France-Presse, 10/23). Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said that the program is a "watershed achievement" that "not only allows relief dollars to treat even more people, but also inspires confidence in resource-poor nations that treatment can be sustained over the long term" (AHF release, 10/23). Dr. Jong-Wook Lee, director general of WHO, which is committed to providing treatment to three million HIV-positive people by 2005, said, "WHO welcomes the Clinton Foundation initiative and all private and public sector efforts that will both reduce the price of AIDS medicines and ensure their availability to the people who most urgently need them" (Xinhua News Agency, 10/23).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.