HIV-Positive Africans ‘Deserve Respect, Not Treatment With Drugs Unfit for West,’ Opinion Piece Says
The "entire tale" that "foes" of the Bush administration tell about "Big Pharma teaming up with [President] Bush to deny drugs to Africans is a lie," James Glassman, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in a Scripps Howard/Long Island Newsday opinion piece. The story "promoted by a gullible media" that the Bush administration is blocking generic fixed-dose combination, or FDC, antiretroviral drugs because he is trying to protect the pharmaceutical industry is "wrong in all its particulars," Glassman says. Although the three drugs used in the FDC Triomune have been approved by FDA, the FDC itself has not been approved because when the three drugs are combined into one drug they can cause different reactions than when taken separately, as Jeremiah Norris and Carol Adelman of the Hudson Institute wrote in an April 3 letter to the Lancet, according to Glassman. In addition, Western antiretrovirals "[o]n the whole" are cheaper than "knockoffs" made in India and Thailand, and Africa is a "tiny market" for U.S. drug companies, Glassman says, concluding, "Bush's foes must stop playing shameful political games with [the] lives" of the 30 million HIV-positive Africans who "deserve respect, not treatment with drugs unfit for the West" (Glassman, Scripps Howard/Long Island Newsday, 4/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.