Clinton To Announce Deal That Cuts Prices for Second-Line Antiretroviral Drugs, HIV Test
Former President Clinton on Thursday is expected to announce an agreement reached by the Clinton Foundation that will allow the sale of antiretroviral drugs efavirenz and abacavir, as well as HIV tests, at a lower cost in developing countries, the New York Times reports (McNeil, New York Times, 1/12). This is the first time the foundation has reduced prices for second-line AIDS drugs, antiretrovirals taken by patients who have developed resistance to first-line treatments. Under the deal, the drug efavirenz will be produced by Indian companies Cipla, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Strides Arcolab, as well as Aspen Pharmacare of South Africa, for no more than $240 per patient annually. Cipla also will produce the drug abacavir for $447 per patient annually. These prices reduce by 30% or more the cost of "already cut-price products offered in most poor countries," the Wall Street Journal reports. In addition, rapid HIV tests will be produced for between 49 cents and 65 cents per test by Chembio Diagnostics, Orgenics, Qualpro Diagnostics and Shanghai Kehua Bio-Engineering. The foundation negotiated the terms by helping to obtain the drugs' ingredients at a lower cost. More than 240,000 people in the developing world, including Africa and the Caribbean, receive medications through the foundation's agreements, according to the Journal (Schoofs, Wall Street Journal, 1/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.