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International News
Latin American Countries Reach Agreement With Drug Companies to Receive Discounted Antiretrovirals

August 10, 2005

Officials from 11 Latin American countries on Friday reached an agreement with 26 pharmaceutical companies to secure discounts of up to 66% on antiretroviral drugs, the Inter Press Service reports. The price agreement, which initially will be in place for two years, allows the countries to provide HIV-positive residents with universal access to antiretrovirals. The countries participating in the agreement include Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay (Valente, Inter Press Service, 8/8). Drug companies involved in the negotiations include Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche and Bayer (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/5). The discounts range from 15% to 66%, depending on the medicine. The cost of antiretrovirals will be reduced by an average of 45% in Bolivia, 48% in Uruguay, 52% Ecuador, 56% in Chile and 66% in Paraguay. Approximately 1.5 million HIV-positive people live in Latin America and 385,000 of them are in need of antiretroviral treatment; however, only 275,000 HIV-positive people currently have access to treatment, according to the Pan American Health Organization (Inter Press Service, 8/8).

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