For once no Patents please

Estimated HIV/AIDS prevalence among young adul...
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Anti-Retroviral AIDS Drugs


Effective drug treatment can dramatically lengthen the lifespan of HIV-positive individuals. Photograph: Krista Kennell/Krista Kennell/ZUMA/Corbis

Intellectual Property Initiative for Medicines, Access and Knowledge (I-MAK) will be lauded and remembered by many in the sub saharan africa. Its actions have saved and will save more in the HIV / AIDS affected African continents in the days to come. The Organisation has just succeded in campaigning against the MNC Abbott Laboratories on its drug Kaletra in India. And happily the mumbai patent office rejected it. According to reports atleast 5 million are alive coz they are taking the drug and double that number are awaiting the drug.

The greater question remains (Source: gaurdian)

When HIV becomes resistant to the cheap first-line drugs being rolled out, the cost of treating Africans will soar unless generic versions of the newer medicines that we use in Europe and the USA can be sourced. Kaletra is one of those. When the basic drug cocktail stops working, doctors will want to put patients on Kaletra – or even better, its newer version Alluvia, which is able to withstand African temperatures without refrigeration.

Cheap versions of the drug have been made by Indian generics companies and are ready to be shipped. The Clinton Health Access Initiative had negotiated a price for Africa which amounts ot $440 per patient per year – that’s a lot in Africa, but a fraction of the price that antiretrovirals sell for in the rich world, which was $10,000 per patient per year back in 2000. It was copycat manufacturing by generic drug companies in India which made the first-line drugs available in Africa – now they are as low as $79 a year. As more people are put on second-line drug combinations, those prices will come down drastically too.

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