Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year.
Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic – the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity.
Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments.
In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum price of about $75 per patient for a year’s supply – less than the list price for one day’s supply of a dolutegravir combination in the United States.
The agreement will eventually include 92 nations and will be announced this week during the United Nations General Assembly.