Thailand Will Continue With Plan To Issue Compulsory License for Abbott’s Aluvia After Unsuccessful Talks, Health Ministry Says
The Thai Ministry of Public Health on Wednesday confirmed that it will continue with its plan to issue a compulsory license for Abbott Laboratories' antiretroviral Aluvia after the two sides could not reach a price agreement during recent negotiations, the Bangkok Post reports (Apiradee, Bangkok Post, 6/7).
The Thai government in January issued a compulsory license to produce a lower-cost version of Kaletra. Since then, the government and Abbott have continued negotiations. Abbott last month offered to sell Aluvia, an updated version of Kaletra, at a reduced price in Thailand on the condition that the country agreed not to allow generic versions of the drug into the market, Siriwat Thiptaradol, secretary-general of Thailand's Food and Drug Administration, said. Abbott offered to sell Aluvia for about 34,000 baht, or $1,000, per person annually. Indian generic drug maker Matrix Laboratories has offered to sell a generic version of Aluvia to Thailand for 24,324 baht, or $695, per person annually. Siriwat said that Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkhla would consider the offer. Under the terms of the offer, Thailand would have to agree not to seek a compulsory license for Aluvia and the price of Aluvia could not be reduced any further (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/30).
According to the Post, the Thai FDA wanted Abbott to lower the cost of Aluvia to about 5% more than the cost of the generic version of the drug. Abbott refused to reduce the price of Aluvia to below $1,000 per person annually, the Post reports. "If there is no satisfactory agreement on prices, the ministry may have to make a decision to buy drugs from generic makers," Siriwat said. According to the Post, the health ministry is "determined to finalize" its decision about compulsory licenses by the middle of July (Bangkok Post, 6/7).
The AP/International Herald Tribune on Wednesday examined the situation and the negotiations between Abbott and the Thai government (AP/International Herald Tribune, 6/6).