Ethiopia To Domestically Produce Antiretroviral Drugs
Ethiopia's Drug Administration and Control Authority yesterday announced that the country will be one of the first in Africa to produce generic antiretroviral drugs for people living with HIV/AIDS, U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com reports. Ethiopia, along with South Africa, will receive technological support to produce generic antiretroviral drugs; however, it is unknown who will provide the technology or how the drugs will be distributed, according to U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com. The Ethiopian government said that it hopes to provide the drugs free-of-charge to HIV-positive pregnant women to prevent vertical HIV transmission, but other patients will have to pay for the drugs themselves. Mengistu Wolde-Aregay, deputy head of the drug control agency, said that the domestic production of generic drugs would allow the government to provide treatment to more people. Mengistu said that only Ethiopia and South Africa were chosen for the drug-manufacturing scheme. "This is a burning issue for Ethiopia because of the burden placed on the country by the number of people with HIV/AIDS," Mengistu said, adding, "Increasing the access to antiretroviral drugs is very important for a country like ours. It will make the drugs more affordable." Approximately three million Ethiopians are HIV-positive, and one million children in the country have been orphaned because of the disease (U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com, 4/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.