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AFRICA: Gilead not meeting cheap ARV promise - MSF

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 10 February (PLUSNEWS) - Multinational drug manufacturer Gilead Sciences is yet to reduce the cost of its antiretroviral drug, Viread, in developing countries, international medical NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said.

According to MSF, the drug was available in only five African countries, despite Gilead's pledge in December 2002 to offer Viread at cost price to all African nations.

MSF HIV/AIDS specialist Alexandra Calmy noted in a recent statement, "Other than issuing press releases and empty promises, [Gilead] has done little to ensure that the medicine is available to those who need it most in developing countries."

Gilead said the process for regulatory approval of Viread had proven to be more time-consuming than anticipated, with applications in some of the recipient countries pending for more than two years.



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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 271, 17 February 2006,  17/Feb/06
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· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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