The Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative has announced two new partnerships designed to make better, more affordable treatments available for patients on second-line antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in developing nations.
The first partnership, with pharmaceutical company Mylan and its subsidiary Matrix Laboratories, will make available the four drugs — atazanavir, ritonavir, tenofovir, and lamivudine — needed to enable once-daily treatment of patients who have developed resistance to standard first-line ARVs. The drugs will be made available as separate products immediately at a price of less than $475 annually, or together in a single package for $425 annually starting in 2010. The package price is 28 percent lower than the current lowest-priced alternative and represents the first time a second-line regimen of four ARVs will be available for under $500 annually.
The second partnership, with Pfizer, will work to reduce the price and expand the availability of rifabutin, a drug used to treat tuberculosis in patients taking second-line ARVs. Pfizer will sell the product for 60 percent less than its previous market price — $1 per 150 mg dose, or $90 for a full course of treatment over six months — in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.
"Thanks to the work of my foundation's HIV/AIDS initiative, two million people living with HIV/AIDS are now able to access lifesaving treatment," said former President Clinton. "But their continued survival depends on uninterrupted access to medicines and quality and affordable health care throughout their entire life. Today's announcement will help ensure that we can sustain treatment over a lifetime and better treat patients with both HIV and TB, two key steps in turning the tide of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic."