Italian Pharmaceutical Company Pharco To Begin Antiretroviral Drug Clinical Trials in Zambia
Pharmaceutical company Pharco announced that it soon will begin clinical trials of antiretroviral drugs involving 28 HIV-positive volunteers in Zambia, Zambia's Daily Mail reported Tuesday, the AP/Yahoo! News reports. The company, which is an Italian company incorporated in Zambia, plans to begin "full" production of antiretrovirals after the clinical trials are completed in about three months, according to the AP/Yahoo! News. However, Pharco did not specify when the trials are scheduled to begin. Pharco General Manager Johan Richter said, "The plant will be able to produce a quantity of at least 150,000 treatments per year," adding, "Production capacity will be increased when and if required" (Mwanangombe, AP/Yahoo! News, 11/2). During a ceremony last month to mark Zambia's 40th anniversary of independence, President Levy Mwanawasa said that he would expand the distribution of antiretroviral drugs to treat 100,000 HIV-positive people by 2005. Currently, 12,000 HIV-positive people in Zambia are receiving treatment. One in five people in Zambia is HIV-positive, and people ages 15 to 49 are the most-affected group (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.