India to have world's cheapest AIDS drugs

The Indian government has announced plans to provide HIV/AIDS patients with the world's cheapest drugs, through a deal struck with the country's pharmaceutical firms.

    Ghosh (R) says the deal should be formalised by April 2004

    More than four million people in India are carrying the HIV/AIDS virus, second only to South Africa with five million. The average daily treatment for an AIDS patient costs at least one dollar in India.

    The Indian government will also launch a $43.6 million programme to provide free medication to HIV-positive parents, children up to age 15 and poor patients using government hospitals.

    Health Minister Sushma Swaraj told journalists the government was in negotiations with Indian drug companies to get "rock-bottom drug prices" for Indian AIDS patients.

       
    Drugs companies

    Three Indian pharmaceutical companies are taking part in former US President Bill Clinton's project to slash AIDS drugs to 38 cents a day for developing countries. The Clinton plan announced in October applies to nine Caribbean and four African countries.

    "I asked the Indian pharmaceutical companies why they couldn't bring down their prices for their own people when they were offering such a good deal to the Clinton AIDS foundation," Swaraj said.
      
    "After a very fruitful meeting they promised to slash the prices to less than 38 cents for India if the government gave them certain export benefits. I will ask our finance minister to help, I'm sure the deal will go through."
      
    Meenakshi Datta Ghosh, project director for the government's National AIDS Control Organisation, said the deal should be

    formalised by April 2004.

    "We need to put in place a core team of paramedics to administer the antiretroviral drugs correctly, therefore it may take three months to formalise the agreement. We have set a deadline of April 1," Ghosh said.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.