Pressure for cheaper AIDS drugs increases

res at a daily treatment cost of less than one dollar.

John Borchardt(JKBdeinker@aol.com)
Feb 12, 2001

HOUSTON The impact of HIV/AIDS on the developing world is enormous. "Every day our teams in the field see the devastating and tragic effects of people's lack of access to life-saving medicines," explains Bernard Pécoul of Médicins sans Frontières (MSF). But there will soon be wider access to lifesaving AIDS medicines. Indian generic drug maker Cipla has announced it will supply a three-ingredient cocktail of AIDS drugs (stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine) patented by Western firms at a daily treatment cost of less than one dollar. Cipla, which makes generic versions of drugs protected by patents in other countries, is offering the medicines to the charitable organisation MSF for $350 per year per patient, and to governments for $600. According to MSF, the same drug cocktail would cost $10,400 per patient annually in the US.

MSF called on Western pharmaceutical companies to match the Cipla price saying, "The offer by Indian...

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