Cipla to Offer Inexpensive Antifungals, Other Drugs to Treat AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections
Indian generic drugmaker Cipla announced last week that it is planning to supply "affordable drugs" to treat opportunistic infections resulting from AIDS, Reuters reports. Cipla Chair Y.K. Hamied said that the company is looking to "broaden its initiatives in AIDS treatment." According to Hamied, Cipla, which currently supplies antiretroviral drugs to African nations for less than one dollar per day, has also offered to conduct clinical trials of a U.S.-developed AIDS vaccine in India and is planning to offer "cheap" home HIV detection kits worldwide. "If we're approached, we can also supply drugs to treat cancer, pneumonia and tuberculosis in AIDS patients at a fraction of international prices," he said. Cipla will now begin offering generic fluconazole, the medication in Pfizer's antifungal treatment Diflucan, at a price of 10 cents per tablet, a "small fraction" of Pfizer's price. An inspection of Cipla by a U.N. team last month could assist the company in its plans to supply AIDS drugs, Reuters reports. "We had our facilities inspected by the United Nations' Children's Fund, and we're likely to be an approved supplier through them of [AIDS drugs] to countries where patents don't apply or where they've expired," Hamied said. Thus far, about 25 countries have begun importing AIDS medication from Cipla (Reuters, 12/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.