AIDS groups negotiate lower price for Fuzeon

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 03 2003 1:00 AM ET

State AIDS Drug Assistant Programs and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors have negotiated a deeper discount with drug companies Roche and Trimeris for their recently approved HIV entry inhibitor, Fuzeon, the Raleigh News and Observer reports. The groups had met with eight major anti-HIV drug manufacturers to negotiate discounts on anti-HIV medications for the cash-strapped ADAPs.

Funding shortfalls have already led 13 state-run ADAPs to implement waiting lists or tighten eligibility requirements for individuals wanting to take the new drug. Officials from NASTAD and ADAP programs in California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas, which account for 70% of the nation's annual $850 million in ADAP expenditures, for the first time negotiated lower drug prices as a coalition rather than individually.

Although the size of the discount on Fuzeon was not disclosed, a NASTAD press release said negotiations with Roche and Trimeris resulted in a "satisfactory agreement." The companies had announced in March that the annual cost of Fuzeon treatment in the United States would be just under $20,000 per year. "Roche stepped up to the plate to help us ensure that ADAP patients will have access to needed HIV therapies," said Michael Montgomery, chief of the California Office of AIDS. "Roche has proven to be a critical partner at the most difficult economic time our programs have faced."

Negotiations for anti-HIV drug price discounts are continuing with five other pharmaceutical companies.