Nigerian Generic AIDS Drug Trial Delayed for Second Time
Nigeria's "long-awaited" clinical trial of generic antiretroviral drugs was delayed on Monday for the second time this fall, the AP/Baltimore Sun reports. The trial, which was originally scheduled to begin in September, was to test drugs supplied by Indian generic drug manufacturers Cipla and Rambazy on 10,000 adults and 5,000 children with HIV. An official with the Ministry of Health said the drugs were in Nigeria, but "organizational delays" had hampered efforts to distribute the drugs to the 18 test centers on time. The official said that some patients may receive the drugs by Christmas. "We are hopeful. But we don't know anything. We remain in the dark," an official with the National AIDS Alliance, a non-governmental advocacy group for people with HIV/AIDS, said. Participants in the trial, which will be the first in Africa involving generic drugs, are expected to pay only half of the drugs' standard $350-per-year price tag. Other expenses, such as doctors' fees, are also expected to be waived. About 3.5 million Nigerians are estimated to have HIV/AIDS, and a government survey reported that the infection rate among people between the ages of 15 and 45 is 5.8%, although prevalence rates of HIV infection in many regions of the country are estimated to be closer to 10% (AP/Baltimore Sun, 12/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.