Cipla, Ranbaxy To Cut Pediatric Antiretroviral Drug Prices Ahead Of World AIDS Day Under Deal With Clinton Foundation

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Cipla Indian pharmaceutical companies Cipla and Ranbaxy under an agreement with the Clinton Foundation will reduce the prices of 19 different pediatric antiretroviral drugs in 62 developing countries to an average of 45% less than what treatments currently cost in the countries, former President Clinton announced on Thursday ahead of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the AP/Forbes reports (George, AP/Forbes, 11/30).

One of the formulations, a new three-in-one treatment for children, will cost about 16 cents per day, or $60 annually, according to the foundation. (Clinton Foundation release, 11/30). The antiretrovirals will be supplied directly to countries' governments and then will be distributed through public health programs and HIV prevention programs (AP/Forbes, 11/30). 

Under the deal, the five founding countries of the Geneva-based drug purchase facility UNITAID -- Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom -- will provide $35 million to purchase drugs and diagnostics, according to the foundation (BBC News, 11/30). The Clinton Foundation will provide $15 million for the initiative (Clinton Foundation release, 11/30).

"This is a great day, but we have a long way to go. We have to make a new commitment that every child and adult who needs treatment should have access" to the drugs, Clinton said, adding, "Though the world has made progress in expanding HIV/AIDS treatment to adults, children have been left behind" (AP/Forbes, 11/30). According to Clinton, one in 10 children has access to needed antiretroviral treatment (Dow Jones, 11/30).

Clinton announced the deal at the launch of an Indian government program that aims to increase the number of HIV-positive children in the country receiving antiretrovirals from fewer than 2,000 in September to 10,000 by the end of March 2007 by making pediatric care available at adult HIV/AIDS treatment centers nationwide (BBC News, 11/30). 

source - KaiserNetwork