Abbott to Reduce Cost of Kaletra in Thailand, Other Developing Countries
April 11, 2007
Abbott Laboratories on Tuesday said that it plans to reduce the cost of its antiretroviral drug Kaletra in Thailand and more than 40 low- and low-middle-income countries by more than half, the Chicago Tribune reports. The company said it will provide Kaletra in the countries for $1,000 per patient annually, which is less than the cost of generic versions of the drug, instead of the current price of $2,200 (Miller, Chicago Tribune, 4/10). Abbott in March announced that it had withdrawn applications to sell seven new drugs in Thailand in response to the country's decision to issue a compulsory license for Kaletra. Thai Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkhla in January signed the compulsory license, which allows Thailand to produce a lower-cost version of Kaletra, into law. Abbott had previously offered to lower Kaletra's cost to $167 per patient monthly, but representatives from the health ministry said the offer was still too high (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/10). In a meeting with the Thai government on Tuesday, Abbott offered to reduce the cost of 30 Kaletra tablets to about $100, a 40% drop from its earlier proposal, Suchart Chongtrasert -- a senior official at the health ministry's Food and Drug Administration, who helped negotiate the cost -- said (AFP/Todayonline.com, 4/11). Abbott said it will continue with its plan to refrain from introducing some new drugs in Thailand (Chicago Tribune, 4/10). Kaletra costs more than $7,500 per patient annually in the U.S., and Abbott provides the drug at a cost of $500 per patient annually in 69 of the poorest developing countries, including all of Africa (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/15/06).
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