It is a move that could help people in the developing world living with HIV and AIDS. A deal has been struck to cut the price of vital retroviral drugs for 66 countries. The agreement was made between two Indian drug manufacturers, and the charitable foundation of former US President Bill Clinton:
“Less than a year after the launch of an AIDS treatment that is one pill, once a day, which is so much easier for people to take, we’re announcing a price of less than a dollar a day for developing countries. This represents a 45 percent saving over the price now available in Africa and up to a 67 percent saving in many middle income countries.”, he told reporters.
It is AIDS treatment on a more equal basis said Kenyan Health Minister Charity Kaluki Ngilu: “The very drugs you provide to people living with HIV and AIDS in New York are now also available to people living with HIV and AIDS in Kenya.”
Only last week, Brazil’s President authorised his country to bypass the patent on an Aids drug manufactured by Merck, the US pharmaceutical giant. Luis Ignacio da Silva plans to import a cheaper Indian-made version of the patented “Efavirenz” drug instead. The decision came after talks between Brazil and the US company broke down. Merck had offered Brazil a 30% discount but the country wanted to pay the same price as Thailand, which gets more money off.