Pfizer to Offer Diflucan Free of Charge in Malawi
Pfizer Inc. has announced that it will provide its antifungal drug Diflucan at no cost to people with AIDS in Malawi, Reuters reports. The drug maker stated that Diflucan will be provided free of charge for Malawians being treated in hospitals operated by either the government or by the Christian Health Association of Malawi. The drug will be provided "for as long as it is required" for these patients, and there is "no dollar or time limit" on the offer, Pfizer stated. Diflucan treats two opportunistic infections: cryptococcal meningitis, a brain infection which affects 10% of people with AIDS, and oral thrush, which affects between 20% and 40% of people with AIDS. Malawi is the seventh African nation to participate in the program, which also helps train health workers. South Africa, Uganda, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho have already signed on to the program. Tanya Elston, communications manager at Pfizer, said that the company plans to offer the program soon in Mozambique and Zambia. Pfizer hopes eventually to expand the program to 50 of the world's poorest nations, Elston said (Reuters, 6/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.