China Becomes Major Exporter of AIDS Drug Raw Material to Developing Nations
May 27, 2004
Less than two years after it began producing AIDS drugs, China has become a major exporter of raw materials for the medications. In addition, it is preparing to export finished drugs to Third World countries.
Four Chinese companies are now producing AIDS drugs. Desano Biopharma Co. Ltd. of Shanghai is exporting seven kinds of materials for AIDS drugs to India, Thailand and Brazil, according to Xinhua News Agency.
In September, Xiamen Mchem Pharma Group signed a five-year contract with the government of Brazil to become the third appointed manufacturer of AIDS drugs for Brazil.
Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd and Northeast Pharmaceutical Group also exported large amounts of raw AIDS drug materials to Africa, Latin America and Asia.
In addition to raw materials, China's drug makers have begun listing finished AIDS drugs in their export agenda. Registration for the export of Desano's AIDS drug is underway. Xiamen Mchem Pharma Group has gained authorization from 13 African countries to export AIDS drugs.
UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said it is good to have more AIDS drug producers, provided the drugs' quality can be controlled. "As we've done with Indian producers, once these drugs pass the test, we include them in the programs and promote them, but that has not happened yet [in China]," Piot said. "At the price of Western produced drugs, it's not possible for developing countries to have massive treatment so that's where China could really contribute."
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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.