Under New Application Process, Boehringer-Ingelheim Begins Shipping Free Doses of AIDS Drug to African Nations
German drug company Boehringer-Ingelheim has "finally" determined a way to make good on its offer to provide for free its drug Viramune to help various nations prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, the Wall Street Journal reports. Since the company announced its offer last year, it has been "frustrated" that few countries or health programs have come forward to accept the offer. But a new application process developed by Dublin-based Axios International "addresses several major stumbling blocks that have impeded access to Viramune," the Journal reports. Under the application process, governments and private not-for-profit organizations must demonstrate that they can "manage the logistics of getting the medicines to the patients who need them." Axios CEO Joseph Saba said that the process "allows us to help determine how many mothers they can serve, and to overcome obstacles, such as import licenses and duties, that had been in the way." Boehringer-Ingelheim already has shipped 18,600 doses of the drug to eight health programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Senegal and Zimbabwe and expects to ship another 31,400 doses to seven health centers in six other countries. The company is reviewing applications from other programs, including some in South Africa (Waldholz, Wall Street Journal, 9/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.