Cipla ‘Slashes’ Indian Price of AIDS Drug Combination by 39%
Indian generic drug manufacturer Cipla Ltd. on Tuesday "slashed" its domestic prices of the lamivudine, stavudine and nevirapine AIDS drug combination by 39% to $45.17 a month, Reuters reports. "We are passing on to patients the impact of cost savings from improved production processes," a Cipla official told Reuters. However, the cost of the combination in India remains higher than the company's lowest international rate of $350 per patient per year, which it offered to Doctors Without Borders in February, "stunn[ing]" international pharmaceutical companies. Reuters reports that earlier this week Cipla launched a combination pill of stavudine and lamivudine, "the first of its kind in the world," and plans to launch an efavirenz generic in two weeks. Cipla also cut the prices of zidovudine, didanosine and indinavir by 14% to 33%. Cipla is able to offer reduced prices of the drugs because they have lower production costs and do not have research expenses, as Indian firms can produce generic versions of patented drugs provided they use a different production process. GlaxoSmithKline holds patents on lamivudine and zidovudine, Bristol-Myers Squibb holds patents on stavudine and didanosine, Boehringer Ingelheim on nevirapine, and Merck on indinavir and efavirenz (Reuters, 7/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.