Bill Clinton announced agreements with drug companies
Tuesday to lower the price of so-called second-line AIDS
drugs for people in the developing world and to make a
once-a-day AIDS pill available for less than $1 a day.
The second-line antiretroviral drugs--needed by
patients who develop resistance to first-line
treatment--currently cost 10 times as much as
first-line therapy, Clinton said. Nearly half a million
patients will require these drugs by 2010.
foundation negotiated agreements with generic drug makers
Cipla Ltd. and Matrix Laboratories Ltd. that he said
would mean an average savings of 25% in low-income
countries and 50% in middle-income countries. He said
the companies collaborated with the foundation to
lower production costs, in part by securing lower prices for
reduced-price, once-daily pill combines the drugs tenofovir,
lamivudine, and efavirenz.
Clinton said the
new price of $339 per patient per year would be 45%
lower than the current rate available to low-income
countries and 67% less than the price available to
many middle-income countries.
people in the developing world are in need of treatment
for HIV/AIDS,'' Clinton said. ''We are trying to meet that
need with the best medicine available today, and at
prices that low- and middle-income countries can
Foundation's activities are being financed by UNITAID, an
organization formed by France and 19 other nations that have
earmarked a small portion of their airline tax
revenues for HIV/AIDS programs in developing
countries. UNITAID will provide the foundation with more
than $100 million to buy second-line medicines for 27
countries through 2008.
living with HIV deserves access to the most effective
medicines, and UNITAID aims to ensure that these are
affordable for all developing countries,'' French
foreign minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, chairman of
UNITAID's board, said in a statement.
its HIV/AIDS Initiative in 2002, the Clinton Foundation
has worked with 25 countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and
Asia to set up AIDS treatment and prevention
programs.The foundation also provides access to
lower-priced AIDS drugs in 65 countries. Some 750,000 people
are now receiving AIDS drugs purchased through the Clinton