Zambia Launches Program To Provide Once Daily Antiretrovirals at Health Clinics
Zambia recently launched a program to provide HIV-positive people with access to once daily antiretroviral drugs at health clinics in the country, Xinhua News Agency reports. James Simpungwe, director of clinical services and diagnostics for the Ministry of Health, said the program has been running for more than one month.
According to Xinhua News Agency, the program was announced in May as part of an agreement with the Clinton Foundation to reduce the price of generic antiretrovirals to less than $1. Under the plan, Cipla and Matrix Laboratories reduced the price of their antiretrovirals to $339 per patient annually -- about 45% less than the price in most low-income countries. The Clinton Foundation also will work to increase access to second-line antiretrovirals, Xinhua News Agency reports. About 500,000 people in the country are expected to need access to second-line antiretrovirals by 2010. According to the health ministry, less than 5% of the more than 90,000 people in the country taking antiretrovirals are in need of second-line drugs (Xinhua News Agency, 9/9).