Clinton Foundation, UNITAID Announce New Antiretroviral Discounts
The Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative and UNITAID on Monday announced that they have negotiated agreements with generic drug companies that will reduce the cost of some antiretroviral drugs and provide new pediatric formulations, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The agreements -- made with Indian drug makers Aurobindo Pharma, Cipla and Matrix Laboratories -- will provide discounts on more than 40 generic second-line antiretroviral drug formulations. They will reduce the price of the most commonly used second-line regimens -- tenofovir, lamivudine, and a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir -- according to the Journal (Chase, Wall Street Journal, 4/29).
The new prices are a reduction of as much as 19% when compared with the costs the organizations announced in May 2007, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. The new price for a second-line regimen containing tenofovir, lamivudine and lopinavir/ritonavir is a 16% reduction from the current average price in low-income countries and a 46% reduction in middle-income countries, AFP/Yahoo! News reports (AFP/Yahoo! News, 4/28).
According to Clinton Foundation Chief Operating Officer Anil Soni, the agreements reduce the cost of second-line treatments for adults to about $659 annually from standard market costs of $1,000 to $4,000 annually in low- and middle-income countries, respectively.
UNITAID and CHAI also announced an agreement to provide a pediatric version of a zidovudine-based fixed dose combination therapy at a reduced price of $66 annually. UNITAID is providing a $120 million purchase commitment for 2008 to support the CHAI-negotiated discounts, Soni said (Wall Street Journal, 4/29).
In addition, UNITAID announced the addition of six new formulations to its pediatric HIV/AIDS treatment project that are more child-friendly than previous versions, according to a CHAI release. These new products include tablets, capsules and fixed-dose combinations that replace individual solutions, which often are difficult to dose, administer and store.
Former President Clinton said, "Today's announcement is an important step in helping to save the millions of children and adults infected with HIV in the developing world who still lack access to life-saving drugs." He added, "It is a testament to the will of governments and partners that we have been able to broaden the reach of our pediatric and second-line AIDS treatment projects so rapidly. I am proud that my foundation is working with UNITAID to optimize the use of available resources and to more effectively serve patients."
Chair of UNITAID's Executive Board Philippe Douste-Blazy said, "We are pleased to report that now over 200,000 children and adults living with HIV/AIDS are benefiting from UNITAID and CHAI support," adding that "this achievement represents a major step in our partnership to reach hundreds of thousands of additional children through 2010 and lower the price of second-line treatment" (CHAI release, 4/28).