Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Mali Strikes Agreement with Pharmaceutical Companies for Reduced-Cost Antiretrovirals
Mali's government on Saturday announced an agreement with four Western pharmaceutical companies to obtain antiretroviral drugs at "sharply reduced rates," AP/CNN.com reports. The companies participating in the deal --
Bristol Myers-Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Boeringher-Ingelheim and Merck Sharp and Dohme -- agreed to give Mali, one of the world's poorest countries, an 89% price cut on HIV drugs, bringing the cost per person down from $485 per month to $85. However, Mali's Health Ministry has acknowledged that the reduced price still remain out of reach for most Mali citizens and plans to subsidize drug costs up to 100% for the "poorest" patients. The government hopes to provide treatment for up to 600 HIV-positive individuals per year through a program funded partly by an international initiative forgiving some of its old foreign debts. About 130,000 of Mali's 11 million people have AIDS (AP/CNN.com, 4/8).
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