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Wednesday,August 12,2020 21:02 PM

Asian Firm Proposes Cheap AIDS Cocktail

By Vision Reporter

Added 14th April 2001 03:00 AM

AN Indian pharmaceutical, Cipla Ltd, has begun negotiations with the Ugandan Government to supply AIDS drugs at one third of the current prices.

AN Indian pharmaceutical, Cipla Ltd, has begun negotiations with the Ugandan Government to supply AIDS drugs at one third of the current prices.

By Charles Wendo AN Indian pharmaceutical, Cipla Ltd, has begun negotiations with the Ugandan Government to supply AIDS drugs at one third of the current prices. Cipla said it would supply a three-drug cocktail at a rate of $350 (sh623,000) per patient per year if the Government gave them to AIDS patients free of charge or $600 (sh1.1m) if the drugs are to be sold to the patients. A similar combination currently costs a minimum of sh2.1m per patient per year in Kampala. The drugs include stavudine, lamivudine and zidovudine. The Cipla joint Managing Director, Amar Lulla, said they hope to reach an agreement with the Government by the end of this month.Cipla has already begun supplying the drugs in Cambodia through Medecins Sans Frontieres (doctors without borders) for humanitarian medical work. The aid agency is paying $350 per patient's annual dose of the drug cocktail. "We are offering the same terms to anyone who is willing to distribute the drugs free to AIDS patients," Lulla said. Cipla first made the offer in February after negotiations with Medecins Sans Frontieres. The World Health Organanisation and UNAIDS last month blessed the arrangement, saying all avenues for reducing the prices of the drugs in Africa should be explored. The drugs are patented by pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the US, but Lulla said patency ownership is not more important than lives. Ends

Asian Firm Proposes Cheap AIDS Cocktail

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