India admitted into Bush aid programme in same week that Indian parliament dismantles hope of future generic ARVs

Simon Collins, HIV I-Base

On March 17, 2005, separate US House and Senate bills designated India as the 16th country to receive President Bush’s Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funds.

The timing could not have been more appropriate. This was the same week that the Indian government finalised legislations that bows down before the US pharmaceutical lobby, and restricts Indian generic manufacturers from producing any drug discovered after 1995, if the parent company files in India for patent rights.

The brief history of providing ARVs treatment to developing countries has been dependent on generic competition reducing prices for some combinations. This has been to as little as $160 for a years supply of Fixed Dose Combination of nevirapine/d4T/3TC.


More than 4.5 million Indians are estimated to be HIV-positive, and yet they are unable to benefit from these price reductions.

Given that generic companies can pay reasonable royalty payments (3-5%), research-based companies that lodge patents in India for their compounds, will now be seen to carry individual responsibility for restricting future access in developing countries.

USINPAC press release.

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