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AFRO-NETS> A Landmark Event in the Fight Against AIDS and SATELLIFE's Pledge to Help
- Subject: AFRO-NETS> A Landmark Event in the Fight Against AIDS and SATELLIFE's Pledge to Help
- From: "Arlene E. Silva" <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 16:00:42 -0400 (EDT)
A Landmark Event in the Fight Against AIDS and SATELLIFE's Pledge to Help
A three year law suit was unconditionally withdrawn in South Africa
by 39 international drug companies earlier today. In addition to re-
imbursing the South African government's legal fees, this reversal
will allow the government to implement a 1997 law that grants the use
of generic drugs. As a result, the South African government is now
free to import less-costly generic drugs for the 4.7 million South
Africans infected with HIV.
"For instance, drug company Pfizer was selling Fluconazole, an essen-
tial drug used to treat certain HIV/AIDS-related infections, for
about ZAR 29 to [the] government while generics could be bought for
ZAR 2" (BusinessDay on-line, 4/19/01, quoting Sapa, I-Net Bridge).
However, some have expressed concern over the widespread accessibil-
ity to these life-prolonging drugs. "South Africa, like many of its
neighbours, still lacks the infrastructure to use these complicated
drugs effectively. Doctors require specialist training; systems for
regularly monitoring patients who are on medication need to be put in
place and drug supplies must be guaranteed" (BBC News on-line,
Despite these concerns, this is a great victory for South Africa and
AIDS patients throughout the world. "Now nothing should stand in the
way of countries who want to ensure long-term access to affordable
medicines," said Ellen 't Hoen, Doctors Without Borders/MSF legal
advisor (MSF-USA on-line, 4/19/01).
SATELLIFE, through its publications such as HealthNet News and
HealthNet News-AIDS, pledges to bring health workers in Africa the
information that they need to effectively use these treatment op-
tions. Likewise, through vehicles such as AFRO-NETS, E-Drug, and Pro-
CAARE, we can facilitate the development of a shared knowledge base
responding to the need for information about effective delivery and
The SATELLIFE Staff
Arlene E. Silva
30 California Street
Watertown, MA 02472 USA
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