AIDS medicine prices lowered

Published: Wednesday 15 August 2007

Mutually beneficial agreement< (Credit: AGENCIA BRAZIL)The Brazilian government recently reached an agreement with the producers of the HIV/AIDS drug Kaletra to reduce its price by 29.5 per cent. Following the deal, Thailand has also demanded higher cuts than those in Brazil from the drug's producers Abbott Laboratories Inc.

The cost per patient per year for Kaletra in Brazil has been fixed at US $1,000. In June 2005, the Brazilian government had threatened to issue a compulsory licence for Kaletra. After four months of negotiations, Abbott dropped the price by 47 per cent with each Kaletra dose costing US $1.04 until 2007. But the recent deal fixed the price of each tablet at 73 US cents in 2007 and 68 US cents in 2008.

Later in the year, a new form of Kaletra will be out in Brazilian markets that does not require refrigeration. Only four doses of the new drug need to be taken every day rather than the present six doses. The company is also planning to cut the price for 45 other low and low-middle income developing countries.

Brazil provides HIV/AIDS drug free to an estimated 600,000 patients in the country at a cost of US $11.4 million per year.

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