Brazilian Health Ministry, Gilead Reach Price Reduction Agreement for Antiretroviral Tenofovir
The Brazilian Ministry of Health on Tuesday announced that it has reached an agreement with Gilead to reduce by half the price the government pays for the antiretroviral drug tenofovir for use in combination therapies to treat HIV/AIDS, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. Brazil, which began a program in 1996 to provide no-cost treatment to HIV-positive residents, has been negotiating with antiretroviral producers to cut prices of their drugs since 2002 (AFP/Yahoo! News, 5/9). The health ministry in October 2005 reached an agreement with Abbott Laboratories to lower the price of the company's antiretroviral drug Kaletra from $1.17 to 63 cents per pill after the ministry said it would break Abbott's patent on the drug if a price reduction agreement was not reached (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/13). The ministry said the tenofovir deal -- which was signed by Brazilian Health Minister Agenor Alvares and Gilead Vice President Joseph Steele -- will save the government $15.2 million annually. Data show that the government in 2005 spent $411 million to distribute 17 types of HIV/AIDS medications, eight of which are manufactured in Brazil, to approximately 170,000 HIV-positive people who need them (AFP/Yahoo! News, 5/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.