Ghana Developing Plans to Produce Generic Antiretroviral Drugs
Ghana is developing plans to produce generic versions of antiretroviral drugs, Reuters reports. "We're negotiating with the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand to map out how to begin production of antiretroviral drugs," Ghanaian Health Minister Richard Anane said. Although a national education campaign prompted Ghana's HIV infection rate to fall from 4.6% in 1999 to 3.6% last year, the country's infection rate is still "higher than in most Asian countries but lower than in some other African nations." Ghana received $1 million from the World Bank to purchase antiretrovirals, and the country has since worked out a deal with an "unnamed international drug company" to purchase a drug regimen, which usually sells for $700 per patient per year, for about $30 annually per patient. Anane, who is leaving his current position to work for the transport ministry, said, "This is still too high for most ordinary Ghanaians to afford, which is what has made it necessary for us to strive to manufacture [the drugs] locally." Anane did not say, however, "how soon" local production of the pharmaceuticals would begin (Sakyi-Addo, Reuters, 11/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.