Negotiating ARV prices

I just found a really good explanation of some of the issues involved in the drive for increased treatment access, and thought I’d just quote it here.

>> Former President Clinton Completes Tour of Africa Aimed at Fighting HIV/AIDS, Kaiser Network (Aug. 4)

At the conclusion of a four-nation tour of Africa on Sunday, former President Clinton discussed progress in HIV treatment access and costs, the role of nutrition among HIV-positive children and other issues, the AP/ reports.

According to the AP/, the Clinton Foundation has helped negotiate agreements to lower the prices of rapid HIV tests and antiretrovirals in the developing world and has collaborated with UNITAID to provide low-cost antiretrovirals. Clinton said the cost of antiretrovirals in 2006, when UNITAID was created, was $600; the same drugs now cost $60.

“The same people who sell them today at U.S. $60 did not all the sudden have a conversion where they said, ‘I’m being greedy and now I’ll be generous.’ They charged that because they had a small volume with a lot of fixed costs,” Clinton said. He added, “Now, because of the UNITAID funding, there is a big volume with absolutely certain payments. So they can charge a small profit margin on each individual lifesaving medication.” Nevertheless, “we’re still a long way from universal coverage,” Clinton said.

According to the United Nations, only two million of the 22 million HIV-positive people in Africa have access to antiretrovirals. Clinton said about 30% of pregnant HIV-positive women give birth to infants with HIV but added that antiretrovirals can reduce that rate to 2%. He added that since 2006, the number of children in the developing world with access to antiretrovirals has increased from 10,000 to more than 200,000.


~ by h.e.g. on August 11, 2008.

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