UNAIDS Director Says Africa Should Manufacture Own Generic AIDS Drugs
The executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, on Wednesday said that Africa needs to develop its own generic HIV/AIDS drugs so that patients continue to receive their medications despite the current global economic crisis, Reuters reports.
Sidibé said while in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, "We should facilitate a discussion around how we can build a business case for producing generic drugs in Africa so that it can increase coverage but can, at the same time, be a profitable business." Currently, the only African country that makes its own HIV/AIDS drugs is South Africa.
"It's important politically, it's important economically, it's important for the integration of Africa in the global market," said Sidibé. Reuters writes that though Sidibé has prioritized ensuring universal access to medical treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, he is concerned that the economic crisis could undermine this goal.
"Governments need to start anticipating minimum spending on social services so we don't have a breakdown in our respective systems," he said. "My worry about the crisis is that if we are not careful we could face a breakdown in our caring society" (Malone, Reuters, 4/22).
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