Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Doctors Without Borders to Begin Providing Discounted Cipla Drugs to 10 Countries within Months
Doctors Without Borders will begin distributing AIDS drugs "free of charge" in 10 different countries "over the next couple of months," according to Daniel Berman of the agency's Access to Essential Medicines campaign, the AP/Baltimore Sun reports. On
Feb. 7, the Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla Ltd. offered to sell a triple combination antiretroviral drug "cocktail" to the international aid agency for $350 per year per person, under the condition that Doctors Without Borders would distribute it for free and "[take] care of the legalities of importing it." Berman declined to name the countries participating in the program, but stated that antiretroviral pilot programs had begun in Thailand and Cameroon. According to a joint statement by Cipla and Doctors Without Borders, "Governments of developing countries can immediately take advantage of the offer. ... This offer is available without restrictions in time, geography or
quantity." Cipla has also offered to provide a three-drug regimen to governments for $600 per year per patient, a drastic savings from the usual $10,000 to $15,000 charged in the United States or Europe (AP/Baltimore Sun, 2/25).
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