Gilead Sciences announced Tuesday that the company is forming a drug access program to provide the HIV nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor Viread at no profit in every country in Africa and at least 15 other developing nations. "We believe that through important new clinical research initiatives and no-profit pricing, we will be able to increase access to treatment in the developing world, where HIV/AIDS has taken such a terrible toll," said Gilead president and CEO John Martin.
Gilead's program, which will be running by the second quarter of 2003, will offer the once-a-day pill to eligible treatment programs in the targeted countries at a reduced price that represents only the company's cost of manufacturing and distributing the drug. Application forms will be available through a dedicated Web site, to be launched in the first quarter of 2003, and can be submitted via the Internet or by E-mail, mail, or fax. The no-profit price of the drug will be announced when the Web site is launched.
Viread is the only nucleotide analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor approved for the treatment of HIV in the United States and Europe. The drug has been available in the United States since October 2001.