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Nigeria Reaches Deal with Indian Firm to Buy AIDS Drugs

April 26, 2001

Nigeria is expected to announce today a deal with the Indian generic drug manufacturer Cipla to buy enough AIDS drugs to treat 10,000 people a year. Cipla officials attending a summit on AIDS and other infectious diseases in Abuja, Nigeria, said that the company will reduce the price of a three-drug combination to $350 per patient for Nigeria, lowering its previous $600 offer for low-income countries. "If any government wants to give away the drug free to people with AIDS, Cipla will basically sell it to them at the cost to us," said Cipla medical director Jaideep A. Gogtay. Nigerian officials confirmed the terms of the $3.5 million agreement. Cipla representatives also said yesterday that they are negotiating AIDS-drugs deals with Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Algeria.

"Enabling wider access to HIV care gives a lot more meaning to prevention of AIDS," said David Nabarro, the top aide to the World Health Organization Director General Gro Harlem Brundtland. Nabarro said that while the Nigerian deal could be perceived as symbolic, given the depth of the epidemic, "We'd love it to become real, more widespread. The challenge now is to get the health systems to work." Harvard University may help. The director of the university's Center for International Development, Jeffrey D. Sachs, immediately offered the services of Harvard specialists to set up a delivery system upon meeting with President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria. "We could help with the training by bringing experts who have experience in how to oversee the use of antiretroviral drugs," Sachs said. Using a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Harvard will study health systems in three Nigerian states during the next several years.


Back to other CDC news for April 26, 2001

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Adapted from:
Boston Globe
04.26.01; John Donnelly


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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