Indian Generic Drug Makers Should Reduce Cost Of Second-Line Antiretrovirals

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Second-Line Antiretrovirals

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The AIDS Healthcare Foundationon Thursday called on Indian generic drug manufacturers to reduce thecost of their second-line antiretroviral drugs in the country, the Press Trust of India reports. According to the Press Trust of India,nearly 5,000 to 6,000 HIV-positive people in the country who havedeveloped resistance to first-line antiretrovirals depend onsecond-line drugs.

Chinkholal Thangsing, a physician from Indiawho serves as AHF's Asia-Pacific bureau chief, said, "Second-lineantiretroviral drugs are critical to treat HIV-positive people whobecome resistant to first-line treatment, hence we appeal to genericdrug makers to reduce their profit margins on these drugs and checktheir prices." He added that India's National AIDS Control Organization provides access only to first-line treatment in its 127 clinics and has not begun providing access to second-line drugs.

Thangsing called on generic drug maker Ciplato reduce the cost of its second-line antiretrovirals in India, sayingthat the company has inflated prices for such drugs in the country. Hesaid that in Africa, Cipla's second-line drugs cost 21,200 rupees, orabout $523, per person annually, but in India, the drugs can cost asmuch as 54,000 rupees, or about $1,300, per person annually. AmanLulla, managing director for Cipla, said that the company has neversold its second-line antiretroviral Viraday in Africa and that otherantiretrovirals sold there are priced the same as in India (Press Trust of India, 8/9).
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