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Pfizer, Glaxo Lower AIDS Drug Prices for State Programs

July 10, 2003

On Wednesday, Pfizer Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline became the latest drug companies to slash the prices of their AIDS drugs for cash-strapped, state-run programs that treat poor, uninsured and underinsured persons. AIDS Drug Assistance Programs are run by US states and territories using a combination of state and federal funds.

Pfizer said it will provide millions of dollars of drugs either free or at greatly reduced prices to ADAPs. The company will not disclose the exact amount of its donation, which depends on states' needs, said Pfizer spokesperson Nehl Horton.

GlaxoSmithKline, the market leader in AIDS treatments, said it will provide a $20 million cash and credit package to ADAPs.

Seven companies have now agreed to contribute more than $50 million to assist ADAPs, according to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS directors. A Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. spokesperson said the company is close to reaching an agreement with ADAPs; it is the only drug company that has not yet done so.

The latest agreement comes as Congress begins to negotiate ADAPs' funding for fiscal year 2004. AIDS activists, however, say the numbers under consideration fall short of what is needed. Because of funding shortfalls, 15 of the 57 ADAPs have either started a waiting list for enrollment or restricted access to medicines.

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