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IRIN Examines Report on Varying Cost of ARVs for Countries With Similar Socioeconomic Status

September 11, 2009

IRIN examines a recent report (.pdf) that found varying price rates countries pay for antiretrovirals (ARVs) -- with "some nations ... paying up to three times more for the life-prolonging medicines than others with similar HIV prevalence and income levels."

The paper, released last week by the aids2031 group, examined the "price variations in 12 ARVs between 2005 and 2008," as indicated by the WHO's global price reporting mechanism, and identified the factors contributing to such variations, the news service writes. Some of the contributing factors to price variations include sliding-scale drug prices for pharmaceutical companies based on a country's socioeconomic status; "[t]he ability of the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) to negotiate price reductions for its member countries, particularly for second-line drugs"; and whether or not a country purchases brand versus generic ARVs. The paper also includes strategies for negotiating ARVs at the lowest cost, according to IRIN.

Though "[t]he price of first-line ARVs has dropped substantially in the last decades ... affording them is still a problem in low-income countries with high HIV burdens, many of which are experiencing the effects of the global economic downturn in donor countries," the news service writes (9/9).

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