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Delavirdine Generics Deal in Works
  Pharmacia to Launch Pilot Program For Expanding Access to Needed Medicines in World's Poorest Countries
Davos, Switzerland (January 24, 2003) - In conjunction with a panel discussion sponsored by the World Economic Forum's Global Health Initiative, Pharmacia Corporation announced the launch of a pilot program as a model for expanding access to needed medicines for the poorest populations in the developing world. Under the program, Pharmacia, in partnership with the International Dispensary Association Foundation (IDA), will grant non-exclusive licenses for delavirdine, a medicine for HIV/AIDS, to generic pharmaceutical companies that agree to manufacture and supply the product to the world's poorest countries.
Delavirdine, marketed in the U.S. as Rescriptor (delavirdine mesylate tablets), is an oral, non-nucleoside reverse transcritpase inhibitor (NNRTI), developed by Pharmacia for use in patients with HIV infection. Delavirdine was approved and launched in the United States in 1997 and is among the antiretroviral therapies recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for treatment of HIV/AIDS.
Under the not-for-profit pilot program, Pharmacia will transfer its proprietary manufacturing technology and regulatory dossier for delavirdine to IDA. IDA, in turn, will be empowered to select any generic companies that meet its quality manufacturing standards. As the world's largest non-profit supplier of generic medicines to developing countries and relief agencies, IDA is uniquely positioned to facilitate manufacturing and supply of generic delavirdine in eligible countries.
The pilot program has the potential to benefit HIV/AIDS patients in 78 developing countries including all of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The combined population of these countries is approximately 3.8 billion people. Under the program, countries with a per capita Gross National Income of less than $1,200 or an HIV infection rate of more than 1 percent are eligible to receive generic delavirdine.
"This is an innovative approach to the complex access issue that we believe deserves to be tested in real world conditions," said Fred Hassan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pharmacia Corporation. "In particular, it brings together the broad array of stakeholders needed to effectively address access needs for the most needy populations in the world, within a framework that sustains the intellectual property protections that are essential to foster continued investment in the research that will generate new medical breakthroughs."
The pilot program to be launched is based on an approach proposed by representatives of Pharmacia, IDA and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in the current issue of the journal The Lancet. The authors of the paper, Michael Friedman, MD (Pharmacia), Henk den Besten MBA (IDA), and Amir Attaran, DPhil. (Harvard), propose that pharmaceutical patent holders consider awarding voluntary licenses to generic manufacturers who agree to manufacture and supply high-quality, effective medicines to the world's poor and developing countries. The article stresses that the one of the greatest benefits of out-licensing programs will come from providing medicines that treat the leading causes of infectious mortality and morbidity in developing countries, in particular treatments for HIV/AIDS.
The World Economic Forum's Global Health Initiative works to increase the quality and quantity of business engagement against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Global Health Initiative also serves as the focal point for business engagement to the Global Fund. In these roles, the Global Health Initiative upholds the World Economic Forum's commitment to bring together key actors to address the world's most pressing issues.
Pharmacia Corporation (NYSE:PHA) is a top-tier global pharmaceutical company whose innovative medicines and other products save lives and enhance health and wellness. Pharmacia's 43,000 people work together with many diverse stakeholders to bring these benefits to people around the world, and to create new health solutions for the future. On July 15, 2002, Pharmacia and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) announced the signing of a definitive agreement providing for Pfizer to acquire Pharmacia in a stock-for-stock transaction that is expected to close in the first quarter of 2003.
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