Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Ethiopia Strikes Deal to Import Discounted AIDS Drugs
Ethiopia's health ministry announced yesterday that it has struck an accord with unnamed international pharmaceutical companies to import 10 antiretroviral drugs at discounted prices, the Associated Press reports. The list of approved drugs has been given to 32 local pharmaceutical importers, according to health ministry spokesperson Ahmed Emanu. Although he did not disclose the companies, drugs or prices settled on in the deal, Emanu did say that the "only condition attached" by the companies was that Ethiopia must establish a "strict control mechanism to ensure that the drugs are not passed to third countries." Plans for importing the drugs are already "underway," he added.
Secretary-General of the National HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Council Dr. Dagnachew Haile Mariam said that the government now needs to "equip laboratories and train health workers" to ensure that the drugs are properly administered. About 10,000 people rallied in Addis Ababa over the weekend calling on the government to "waive any duties or taxes on the drugs." Ahmed said their request was "under consideration," but added that no final decision had been made. More than half a million people have died of AIDS-related complications in the last 18 months and the 15-year death toll from the disease is expected to reach 1.7 million by the end of the year (Andualem, Associated Press, 8/7).
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