Merck To Sell Discounted Antiretrovirals to Mexico
Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said drugmaker Merck has agreed to sell two antiretroviral drugs at a reduced price in Mexico, the AP/International Herald Tribune reports.
Cordova said that Merck will sell Stocrin, a first-line antiretroviral, and Isentress, a newer antiretroviral, at discounts of up to 40%. Cordova added that about 22,000 HIV-positive people in the country being treated by the Public Health Department take Stocrin and about 200 take Isentress (AP/International Herald Tribune, 8/1).
At a recent meeting with officials representing 50 humanitarian organizations, Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced that the country was in talks with the pharmaceutical industry to cut the cost of antiretrovirals. Calderon also said he would establish a commission to help negotiate the price of drugs and work to achieve fairer prices to help HIV-positive people receive treatment.
According to Prensa Latina, antiretrovirals are four times more expensive in Mexico than in other countries with comparable incomes (Prensa Latina, 7/30).