Annan to Meet with Major Drug Company Executives to ‘Assess Progress’ on Cheaper AIDS Drug Offers
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Friday that he will meet this fall with leaders from the six largest pharmaceutical firms to "assess progress on their pledge" to offer antiretroviral drugs at lower prices to the world's poorest countries, Agence France-Presse reports. Annan told AFP, "We met in April and that's when we agreed" to make the drugs available to citizens in the least developed nations. He added, "I will be seeing them again in October ... and then we will review where we are. The process has begun already." Annan's remarks come amid a "heated battle" between governments of developing countries and drug giants over pricing and distribution of AIDS drugs. On Thursday, Brazil announced that it would begin to manufacture a generic version of Roche's Viracept after halting price negotiations with the drug maker (Agence France-Presse, 8/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.