(2011; 112 pages)
From MSF’s press release:
“While there is continued progress to reduce prices for the poorest countries, a significant number of people with HIV/AIDS live in countries that are now excluded from price reductions,” said Nathan Ford, medical director of MSF’s Campaign for Access to Affordable Medicines.
Tibotec/ Johnson &a Johnson exclude all countries classified as ‘middle-income’ from their price reductions; Abbott excludes low-income and lower middle-income countries from discounts for one of its drugs; and ViiV (Pfizer + GlaxoSmithKline) no longer offers reduced prices to middle-income countries, even when programmes are fully funded by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria or the US-government’s PEPFAR programme.
In a reversal, Merck has now announced that it will no longer issue price discounts for 49 middle-income countries for its new drug raltegravir. This move leaves out countries with large numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS, such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Ukraine, Colombia and Brazil. Today, Brazil is paying $5,870 per patient per year (ppy) for just this one HIV drug; in least-developed countries, Merck charges $675 ppy for the drug, which is already four times the price of the recommended triple first-line combination (TDF/3TC/EFV).
This development comes on the heels of a number of developing countries being excluded from last week’s agreement between drug company Gilead and the new Medicines Patent Pool, which aims to increase access to affordable ARVs by negotiating licencing that can be used by generic manufacturers.