Doctors Without Borders: AIDS Drug Discounts Threatened - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Doctors Without Borders: AIDS Drug Discounts Threatened

According to a price report by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders) released July 18, 2011, several pharmaceutical companies have withdrawn drug price reductions in middle-income countries, such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Ukraine, Colombia and Brazil.

“While there is continued progress to reduce prices for the poorest countries, a significant number of people with HIV/AIDS live in countries that are now excluded from price reductions,” said Nathan Ford, medical director of MSF’s Campaign for Access to Affordable Medicines, according to a press statement.

MSF started HIV treatments in Asia and Latin America over ten years ago, but handed responsibility over to local authorities on the assumption that people would gain access to treatment from government programmes. However, the drug company discount programmes do not apply to newer drugs. According to Janice Lee, HIV/AIDS pharmacist at MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, “When patents get in the way and drug companies refuse to cut prices, governments are going to have to start overriding patents so that they can afford to keep their HIV-positive people alive.”

The MSF price report also contains good news: once a day formulations containing tenofir have seen a 70% reduction in price due to generic competition allowing a move to a WHO-recommended, less toxic treatment.

Nevertheless, patents continue to be a barrier to reduced pricing across the board, and that could hinder the UN goal of providing universal access to antiretroviral therapy to all people living with HIV who are eligible for treatment.


blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

Subscribe: Click to learn more about the newsletter
| Weekly
| Monthly
| Weekly

FDASIA was signed into law two years ago. Where has the most progress been made in implementation?
Reducing drug shortages
Breakthrough designations
Protecting the supply chain
Expedited reviews of drug submissions
More stakeholder involvement
Reducing drug shortages
Breakthrough designations
Protecting the supply chain
Expedited reviews of drug submissions
More stakeholder involvement
View Results
Eric Langerr Outsourcing Outlook Eric LangerTargeting Different Off-Shore Destinations
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia ChallenerAsymmetric Synthesis Continues to Advance
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler Data Integrity Key to GMP Compliance
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoExtending the Scope of Pharmacovigilance Comes at a Price
From Generics to Supergenerics
CMOs and the Track-and-Trace Race: Are You Engaged Yet?
Ebola Outbreak Raises Ethical Issues
Better Comms Means a Fitter Future for Pharma, Part 2: Realizing the Benefits of Unified Communications
Better Comms Means a Fitter Future for Pharma, Part 1: Challenges and Changes

Click here