Bush Administration Should Abandon Policy of Buying ‘Expensive, Brand-Name’ AIDS Drugs, Editorial Says
Although "much" of the criticism of U.S. AIDS policy at the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, earlier this month was unwarranted, criticism of the Bush administration's "insist[ence]" on buying "expensive, brand-name drugs" was "deserved," a Columbus Dispatch editorial says. Conference attendees "slammed" the United States for not spending enough on HIV/AIDS, but such criticism is unfair because it has given more money for global AIDS funding than all other countries combined, the editorial says. "[P]erhaps every country should be criticized for not spending enough" on AIDS because spending worldwide is "obviously" not enough, the editorial says. However, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's requirement that one-third of all prevention funding be spent on abstinence-based programs "doesn't seem out of line," the editorial says. Criticism that "does land squarely" is that U.S. global AIDS funds are being "wasted" because the Bush administration "insists on" buying brand-name drugs instead of generics, which "not only cost substantially less but also are simpler to use," the editorial says. "In a crisis of this magnitude, when millions of lives are in jeopardy, the United States should make sure it is getting the maximum benefit for every dollar," the editorial concludes (Columbus Dispatch, 7/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.