Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, UNITAID Announce Reduced HIV/AIDS Drug Prices

The Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) and UNITAID have announced that they have reached agreements with generic drug manufacturers to significantly reduce the price of key HIV/AIDS medicines.

Pediatric and second-line antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS currently are supplied to forty-two countries through projects funded by UNITAID and implemented by CHAI. The new agreements will further lower the cost of the most affordable generic second-line ARV regimen by 17 percent compared to prices announced by the two groups last year, and 18 percent and 39 percent lower than the average market prices in low- and middle-income countries. The groups also negotiated lower costs for heat-stable LPV/r, a mainstay of second-line therapy, and a first-line treatment that offers greater convenience, an improved resistance profile, and fewer side effects than the drugs most commonly available in the developing world.

CHAI will procure the drugs at the newly negotiated prices using UNITAID funds. The price reductions also will benefit countries that are not directly supported by UNITAID through CHAI's Procurement Consortium, which includes over seventy developing nations in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Since launching their partnership in 2006, CHAI and UNITAID have reduced prices by an average of 64 percent for leading pediatric regimens and 43 percent for leading adult ARV regimens in low-income countries. The reductions are projected to yield annual savings of more than $100 million in global spending on the drugs.

"The innovative partnership with UNITAID aims to improve market dynamics to better serve patients while continuing to meet the needs of manufacturers," said Anil Soni, CEO of CHAI. "Developing countries have been hard-hit by today's global economic crisis, and the health of patients living with HIV will depend on the global community's ability both to sustain funding for treatment programs and to maximize the value of the funds available."