Abbott to Reduce Cost of Antiretroviral Kaletra in Brazil by About 30%, Health Minister Says
July 5, 2007
Abbott Laboratories has agreed to reduce the cost of its antiretroviral drug Kaletra in Brazil by about 30%, Brazilian Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao announced on Wednesday, Bloomberg reports (Cortes, Bloomberg, 7/4). The agreement between the company and the government was announced after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in May issued a compulsory license to produce a lower-cost, generic version of Merck's antiretroviral Efavirenz, Reuters reports. The price reduction is part of Abbott's plan to lower drug costs in developing nations, according to Reuters (Reuters, 7/4).
Heather Mason, vice president for Abbott's Latin American and Canadian operations, said that the "company managed to set a comprehensive world strategy for HIV that recognizes the differences of economic levels of the countries." She added, "This price point still allows us to invest as an innovator company and researcher in the development of drugs" (Bloomberg, 7/4). According to Mason, the reduced price "makes it easier for the government of Brazil to afford medicine that a growing number of its people will need" (Radowitz, Dow Jones/CNNMoney.com, 7/4). Temporao said that Abbott "created a positive atmosphere of discussion and cooperation with the government, which allowed us to reach an agreement." He added that other drug companies should "follow Abbott's example" (Bloomberg, 7/4). Brazil will begin offering Kaletra to about 32,000 people in September, Reuters reports. According to Mason, the new version of Kaletra will not require refrigeration (Reuters, 7/4).
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.