China to mass-produce four generic anti-HIV drugs
China plans to make four types of generic anti-HIV medications in 2003, health minister Zhang Wenkang told the official Xinhua News Agency. The news agency did not say which drugs would be made, but it did report the price would be about one tenth that of imported anti-HIV drugs. A triple-drug cocktail in China costs about $3,600 per person per year, but the average annual income per person in China is roughly $700. China already treats HIV-positive people with a domestically produced generic version of AZT, for which patents recently expired. China's health ministry says 10 Chinese firms have applied for permission to make generic versions of other anti-HIV drugs with expired patents and will be producing them by the end of the year.