Scaling-up the Use of Generic Antiretrovirals in Resource-limited Countries: Generic Drugs for Health
(2014; 7 pages)

Antiviral Therapy 2014; 19 Suppl 3: 117-123


The number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) continues to increase around the world because of the increasing number on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and their associated increase of life expectancy, in addition to the number of people newly infected with HIV each year. Unless a ‘cure’ can be found for HIV infection, PLHIV can anticipate the need to take antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) for the rest of their lives. Because ARVs are now being used for HIV prevention, as well as for therapeutic purposes, the need for effective, affordable ARVs with few adverse effects will continue to rise. It is important to note that the dramatic growth in treatment coverage of PLHIV seen during the past decade has been primarily due to the increased use of generic ARVs. Thus, there will be a need to scale-up the research and development, production, distribution and access to generic ARVs and ART regimens. However, these processes must occur within national and international regulated free-market economic systems and must deal with increasingly multifaceted patent issues affecting the price while ensuring the quality of the ARVs. National and international regulatory mechanisms will have to evolve, which will affect broader national and international economic and trade issues. Because of the complexity of these issues, the Editors of this Supplement conceived of asking experts in their fields to describe the various steps from relevant research and development, to production of generic ARVs, their delivery to countries and subsequently to PLHIV in low- and middle-income countries. A main objective was to highlight how these steps are interrelated, how the production and delivery of these drugs to PLHIV in resource-limited countries can be made more effective and efficient, and what the lessons are for the production and delivery of a broader set of drugs to people in low- and middle-income countries.

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