AHF Launches Ad Campaign Against Bristol-Myers Squibb Over Antiretroviral Pricing in Mexico
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation recently launched an advertisement campaign against Bristol-Myers Squibb over the price of the pharmaceutical company's antiretroviral drugs Reyataz and Videx in Mexico, the AP/Forbes reports. Ads appeared on Thursday in the Los Angeles Weekly, and similar ads are scheduled to appear in the Village Voice and Mexico's La Jornada, according to AHF. AHF President Michael Weinstein in a statement said that BMS charges four times as much for Reyataz and Videx in Mexico than it does for the drugs in parts of Africa and Asia. He added that BMS' pricing in Mexico is a "cold-hearted business calculation" that "effectively makes these drugs out of reach for nearly all people living with HIV/AIDS" in the country. According to AHF, BMS and other pharmaceutical companies provide antiretrovirals to some impoverished countries at very low prices, but because Mexico is considered a middle-income country, it does not qualify for the same prices. An antiretroviral regimen in Mexico can cost up to $6,000 annually, while the country's per capita income is about $7,300 annually, AHF said. BMS in a statement said that it establishes its global pricing structure for antiretrovirals to ensure that people worldwide have access to its drugs. The company added that its drug prices in Mexico and other middle-income countries are based on several factors, including affordability, HIV incidence and government commitment to providing treatment access. AHF operates clinics in the U.S. and other countries, including two in Mexico (Agovino, AP/Forbes, 2/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.