The cost of Aids medicines in poor countries is to come down further, following a new bulk purchase arrangement negotiated with a group of generic drug manufacturers.
The Clinton Foundation HIV/Aids Initiative and the international drug-purchasing consortium Unitaid said they had struck deals offering steeper discounts on a range of life-saving treatments.
The price of most affordable generic second-line drug regimen - needed when patients develop resistance to initial treatment - falls to $590 (about R6 000) annually, from more than $700 (about R7 000) a year ago.
And a one-pill, once-daily first-line regimen based on the drug tenofovir is now available for $210 (about R2100) annually, down 30% from 2008.
In total, new price agreements have been struck for 41 adult and paediatric formulations at an average reduction of 16% compared to 2008.
There is no cure for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes Aids, but combinations of drugs can keep the virus from replicating and damaging the immune system.
An estimated 33 million people globally are infected with the Aids virus, most of them living in Africa and other developing countries. – (Reuters Health, April 2009)
Glaxo and Pfizer pool Aids drugs