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Indian Firm Offers Deep Discount On AIDS Drugs

on 2001/2/18 8:47:02 ( 1387 reads )


SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA, February 17, 2001: A Mumbai-based drug giant Cipla Limited has attracted worldwide headlines by offering accessibility of a cocktail of generic life-saving AIDS drugs to voluntary organizations and governments at a whopping 95 percent discount or more compared to American retail prices. Company chairman Yusuf K. Hamied says he has a reason for doing this. The AIDS epidemic, he said, "is a tragedy. By making this humanitarian offer, we are telling the world, 'Please wake up.' Otherwise we are in for another holocaust." Cipla, India's third-largest drug company by sales, is offering the life-saving AIDS cocktail, which comprises three drugs -- stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine. Cipla offers three-tier pricing: $1,200 to wholesalers for a year's supply for a single patient, $600 for governments, and $350 to Medecins Sans Frontiere (Doctors Without Borders). MSF is the Nobel Prize-winning voluntary organization of doctors that gives medical care to the underserved. They get the drugs on the condition that they distribute them free of charge. The offer to MSF is below the cost of manufacture. Bought from drug companies licensed to produce these drugs, a year's supply of these same drugs can cost anything from $10,000 to $15,000 in the U.S.

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