Thailand: HIV-Positive Men Want Generic HIV Meds Soon
April 24, 2008
Although a Thai government policy allowing importation of the generic version of the AIDS drug Kaletra has been in place for more than a year, advocates say few patients have been able to access the cheaper version.
"Most hospitals say they will provide the second-line treatment for patients who develop resistance to the first-line medicine," said Samran Takan of Violet House, which assists HIV-positive gay men in Chiang Mai province. "But we don't know how long we have to wait."
Despite the compulsory licensing policy, few patients in the universal health care plan have been able to access the second-line treatment, confirmed Nimit Tienudom, who chairs the AIDS Access Foundation and is a member of the National Health Security Office panel overseeing the AIDS program. The lack of screening equipment and trained health staff is blamed for the delay in distributing the generic version. The NHSO panel is scheduled to take up the matter at its May 6 meeting.
04.24.2008; Apiradee Treerutkuarkul, Cheewin Sattha
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