Clinton Foundation Brokers Deal for AIDS Drugs

The William J. Clinton Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas, has brokered deals with two Indian pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of HIV/AIDS drugs for children, making the lifesaving drugs more accessible worldwide, the New York Times reports.

Starting in 2007, Cipla and Ranbaxy Laboratories will make nineteen different retroviral drugs available to HIV-positive children at prices as low as sixteen cents a day, or less than $60 a year, allowing an additional 100,000 children in sixty-two countries to receive treatment at a cost that is about 45 percent below current prices in developing countries. Unitaid — a Geneva-based consortium formed by France, Brazil, Chile, Norway, and Britain — will provide $35 million for the initiative, while the Clinton Foundation will contribute $15 million. "What you're doing with this announcement is keeping hundreds of thousands, indeed millions, of children alive who would otherwise die," said Stephen Lewis, the United Nations special envoy for HIV and AIDS in Africa.

According to an Associated Press report, former President Clinton noted that there is still a long way to go in making AIDS treatment more accessible, particularly for children. "We have to make a new commitment that every child and adult [who] needs treatment should have access [to it]," Clinton said. "Though the world has made progress in expanding HIV/AIDS treatment to adults, children have been left behind. Only one in ten children who needs treatment is getting it."

"Deal to Give Children HIV/AIDS Treatment." Associated Press 11/30/2006. Anand Giridharadas. "Clinton's Foundation Brokers AIDS Deal." New York Times 11/30/2006.