East African Community To Negotiate With Pharmaceutical Companies for Local Production of HIV/AIDS Drugs
The East African Community -- which consists of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania -- on Friday agreed to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to manufacture generic antiretroviral drugs locally and distribute them at a lower cost in the region, Xinhuanet reports. EAC reached the agreement during a meeting at the group's headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. Currently, only 10% of people living with HIV/AIDS in the region are able to afford antiretrovirals, according to Xinhuanet (Xinhuanet , 8/20). Tanzanian Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye added that at least 30,000 of the approximately 2.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the country will have access to antiretrovirals at no cost by 2005, saying the government has "committed itself to the fight against HIV/AIDS," according to Xinhua News Agency. The first supply of no-cost antiretrovirals will be distributed in October under Tanzania's four-year treatment program. The country aims to increase the number of HIV/AIDS patients who receive antiretrovirals at no cost to 220,000 between 2005 and 2006. Currently, the majority of Tanzanians live on less than $1 per day and the average monthly cost of antiretrovirals is more than $30 (Xinhua News Agency , 8/20).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.