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International News

South Africa to Buy Cheaper AIDS Drugs Despite Opposition

April 14, 2010

Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi told Parliament on Tuesday that South Africa "must purchase ARVs [antiretroviral drugs] at the lowest possible cost from whatever source that can guarantee us the lowest prices, whether inside or outside the country. There is no choice."

The country has the world's largest HIV/AIDS caseload, with at least 5.7 million infected out of a population of 50 million. It also has the world's largest ARV program.

"The prices that South Africa pays for ARVs are significantly higher than all other countries," Motsoaledi said during his budget vote speech. "We must be able to purchase ARVs at the lowest prices as we are the largest consumers of ARVs in the world and must benefit from economies of scale."

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See Also
More on HIV Politics in South Africa

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Rev. Henry Calderon Jr (Gastonia, NC) Fri., Apr. 30, 2010 at 9:54 am EDT
To back up what I mean:
U.S. is the only "high-income" country with no direct or indirect national price controls
Highly competitive drug market with strong direct to consumer and direct to provider marketing
USA Today noted that between 1998 and 2005 the pharmaceutical industry spent $758 million on lobbying, more than any other industry
Employed 1,274 federal lobbyists, more than 2 for every member of Congress
The system of pricing and rebates is complex and lacking in transparency
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Comment by: Rev. Henry Calderon Jr (Gastonia, NC) Fri., Apr. 30, 2010 at 9:48 am EDT
That is good to hear, unfortunate for US Hiver's we have patents and are stuck paying high prices, even with the so called co pay assist, if you have insurance you are banned from help basically, so ex: BCBS as Admins for certain companies are stuck by there rules and the Hiver has to pay sometimes up to 300 for one month of atripla even after having insurance that we pay regardless. so we spend about 3600 a year out of pocket for meds and anywhere from 2000 to 8500 in deductables before the insurance kicks in.. that is on top of the average insurance payment of 250 to as much as 1000 dollars a month if on Cobra.. We need to end patent protection over health and human caring. They already get government grants for research and still make a bundle. We need to do as other countries do!! Care about our U.S. Citizens.
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