Merck To Introduce Tablet Version of Antiretroviral Treatment Stocrin in China
Merck Sharp & Dohme China, an Asian division of Merck, last week announced plans to market a new 600 milligram tablet version of the antiretroviral treatment Stocrin in China at a price of $2.10 per pill, the China Daily reports. Merck officials did not announce the date that they plan to introduce Stocrin to the Chinese market but said that they would "work closely" with the Chinese government to obtain early approval, according to China Daily. The tablet version of Stocrin -- approved for sale in 17 nations worldwide -- allows patients to take the treatment one time per day; in the past, patients had to take three 200 milligram caplets each day (China Daily, 12/9). In October, Merck reduced the price of the tablet version of Stocrin to less than $1 per day in developing nations. A company spokesperson said that Merck's ability to offer Stocrin and other antiretroviral treatments at reduced prices in developing nations depends on continued profits from sales of the medications in wealthy nations. Merck lists the price of the tablet version of Stocrin in wealthy nations at $8.55 per day (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS report, 10/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.