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Glaxo Cuts Price of HIV Drugs For World's Poorest Countries
 
 
  REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
February 20, 2008; Page D7
 
LONDON -- GlaxoSmithKline PLC said it cut prices on HIV drugs to developing countries, marking the fifth discount since 1997.
 
The most significant reduction is an almost 40% cut on Ziagen, a pill the World Health Organization recommends as a first- and second-line treatment, particularly for children. The average discount across its 14 not-for-profit HIV drugs was 21%, the company said.
 
More than 33 million people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, which is incurable and deadly. There is no vaccine, and drugs that help control the infection don't stop its spread and aren't available to most people.
 
"These prices will take effect immediately for public-sector customers and not-for-profit organizations in the least developed countries and sub-Saharan Africa" as well as other eligible countries, the company said.
 
The decision comes after Thailand stunned drug makers in late 2006 when it overrode the patent on Merck & Co.'s AIDS drug Efavirenz, arguing it couldn't afford patented drugs for its national health-care plan.
 
Months later, it did the same on a heart medicine made by Sanofi-Aventis SA and an AIDS drug made by Abbott Laboratories, which refused to register several new medicines in Thailand.
 
Drug makers say they are doing more than ever to help the world's poor with initiatives designed to get health care to millions who can't afford to pay Western prices.
 
New price reductions for GSK antiretrovirals in the world's poorest countries
 
WEBWIRE - Tuesday, February 19, 2008
 
GSK today announced significant new price reductions for its HIV medicines offered on a not-for-profit basis to the world's poorest countries. This reduction is the fifth time the company has made a price reduction as part of its pioneering preferential pricing policy originally introduced in 1997.
 
The price reductions will apply across the range of GSK's antiretrovirals offered at not-for-profit prices. The most significant reduction, of almost 40 per cent, will be on Ziagen oral solution (abacavir), which is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for use in first-line and second-line regimens within resource-limited settings, particularly for children. The average reduction across GSK's 14 not-for-profit HIV medicines is 21 per cent. These prices will take effect immediately for public sector customers and not-for-profit organisations in all the Least Developed Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as countries with eligible Global Fund and PEPFAR projects.
 
A number of factors have enabled GSK to implement these price changes, including improvements and efficiencies in manufacturing and supply, and reductions in the costs of active ingredients. These latest prices have been calculated based on the cost incurred by GSK, and savings realised are reflected in the new prices and passed on directly to purchasers. The prices include insurance and freight and are applicable to orders of any size and are not dependent on quantity.
 
JP Garnier, CEO GlaxoSmithKline said: gI have seen for myself the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS, and the continued response of the global community to this epidemic is vital. This further reduction in pricing of our HIV medicines demonstrates GSK's ongoing commitment to patients in the world's poorest countries. We also continue to focus on the research and development of new medicines and vaccines, and to build partnerships with others to help improve access and investment in communities.h
 
 
 
 
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