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AFRO-NETS> HIV/AIDS: Abbott To Sell Drugs To Africa At Cost
- Subject: AFRO-NETS> HIV/AIDS: Abbott To Sell Drugs To Africa At Cost
- From: Holly Ladd <email@example.com>
- Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 15:12:57 -0500 (EST)
HIV/AIDS: Abbott To Sell Drugs To Africa At Cost
US pharmaceutical manufacturer Abbott Laboratories yesterday said it
would sell its Kaletra and Norvir HIV treatment drugs in Africa at
cost. The company will also sell its Determine HIV test at cost on
the continent. The two drugs, which sell for about US$ 7,000 each in
the United States, are believed to cost less than US$ 1,000 to manu-
facture (Associated Press, 27 Mar). "It is our sincere hope that this
action will lead governments and other sources of international fund-
ing to help make a difference for millions of people who need AIDS
care," said Miles White, Abbott chair and chief executive. "The next
step in the global response is to develop the infrastructure neces-
sary to deliver effective treatment" (Agence France-Presse, 27 Mar).
The company pledged to continue working with the World Health Organi-
zation and the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to optimize ac-
cess to HIV/AIDS treatments and diagnostic tools (Abbott release, 27
Mar). The company's announcement follows similar price reductions by
Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb (AFP). Roche Holding also last month
indicated in a letter to UNAIDS that it would offer rebates of 50%
and 15% respectively on sales of its Fortovase and Viracept drugs in
Africa. In relation to these other offers, Abbot's price reduction is
unique in that it has enlisted the help of Irish consulting firm Ax-
ios International to help distribute the drugs. Joseph Saba, Axios
chief executive, expressed hope that other drug makers would join the
distribution project (Zimmerman/Waldholz, Wall Street Journal/MSNBC.com
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