UN health agency hails move to cut price of key HIV/AIDS drug
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today welcomed the decision of Abbott Laboratories to reduce the price of a drug which has proved particularly effective as a “second-line” antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The price of lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r, marketed as Kaletra/Aluvia) has been lowered by Abbott in some low and middle-income countries, where many HIV/AIDS drugs are unaffordable and demand for this medicine is growing.
Worldwide the number of people being treated with ART keeps growing in low and middle-income countries. This has caused a rise in the number of people in those nations who have developed resistance to so-called “first-line” treatments, thus boosting demand for second-line ART.
In a statement released today, the WHO welcomed Abbott’s decision and said it would continue to work with countries, people living with HIV/AIDS, organizations and the pharmaceutical industry “to find mechanisms that address the immediate need to rapidly increase access and affordability of life-saving drugs, while maintaining the long-term need to foster research and development in innovative medicines.”
WHO has pledged to work towards universal access to HIV prevention services and to treatment and care for people living with HIV/AIDS, all by 2010.