New Clinton agreements to lower prices of HIV/AIDS rapid tests and second-line drugs in 50 countries

On 12 January 2006, the Clinton Foundation announced that it has negotiated new pricing agreements to lower the prices of HIV diagnosis and two antiretrovirals (ARVs).

Four companies—Chembio (U.S.), Orgenics (Israel; a subsidiary of Inverness Medical Innovations), Qualpro Diagnostics (India), and Shanghai Kehua (China)—will offer rapid tests for $0.49-$0.65 per test.

As a result of their agreements with the Clinton Foundation, countries will be able to reduce the cost of HIV diagnosis by 50%.

Cipla (India), Ranbaxy (India), Strides Arcolab (India) and Aspen Pharmacare (South Africa)— relying on supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients from Matrix Laboratories (India)—will offer the ARV efavirenz for $240 per patient per year, and Cipla will offer the ARV abacavir for $447. These prices represent savings of more than 30% from current market rates. (The supply of efavirenz at $240 by Cipla and Ranbaxy is conditional on certain volume thresholds; for smaller orders, a surcharge may apply.)

The products and prices announced today will be available to the Foundation’s Procurement Consortium, which currently includes 50 developing countries around the world.

Speaking in Harlem today, President Clinton said, “Lowering the price of second-line drugs is a major priority for my foundation in 2006”.

First-line treatment of HIV/AIDS in developing countries has relied heavily on four ARVs. These were included in original agreements announced by the Clinton Foundation in 2003, and 240,000 patients across its Procurement Consortium are benefiting today from medicines purchased under these agreements. The annual price paid for the most common first-line therapy is $136.

For middle-income countries, the price of second-line medicines is an additional 4-5 times higher than in Africa, and some of these, like Brazil, already spend the majority of their budgets for ARVs on just a few second-line medicines. In two years, as many as 500,000 patients around the world will be on second-line combinations, making their comparative cost a major challenge facing ongoing HIV/AIDS treatment in Africa and around the world.

Source: Clinton Foundation Press Release, January 12, 2006

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