The Clinton Foundation and two Indian drug makers have reached an agreement that's expected to greatly reduce the cost of treating children with HIV/Aids in developing countries.
Under the deal announced Thursday, Cipla and Ranbaxy Laboratories will produce 19 different antiretroviral drugs designed for children at an average price of 16 US cents a day ($60 a year). That's about 45 percent below the current lowest price, The New York Times reported.
The low-priced drugs will be available to 62 developing nations and will result in the treatment of an additional 100 000 young HIV/Aids patients in 2007, according to the Clinton Foundation, founded by former President Bill Clinton.
"This is historic because it's doing for children what was always available for adults," Stephen Lewis, the United Nation's special envoy for HIV and Aids in Africa, told the Times.
Children have been left behind
While aid groups and governments have strived to improve access to HIV/Aids drugs among adults in developing countries, children have been left behind. That's because they need special versions of drugs to suit their different ages and weights.
A new report underscores the plight of HIV-positive children: Fewer than half of South Africa's 15-year-olds will live to see their 60th birthday because of HIV/Aids.
An estimated 950 people died each day during 2006 from Aids-related diseases and an additional 1 400 were infected each day - a total of 530 000 new infections, said the study by the Actuarial Society of South Africa and the South African Medical Research Council, the Associated Press reported. – (HealthDayNews)