Drug giant seeks to ensure local ARV availability

AFRICA: Drug giant seeks to ensure local ARV availability

JOHANNESBURG, 26 Jan 2006 (PLUSNEWS) - Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is to help African firms produce generic versions of its second-line anti-AIDS drug, Saquinavir, as part of its Technology Transfer Initiative.

William Burns, director of the Roche pharmaceutical division, said the transfer was vital to ensuring the local availability of antiretrovirals (ARV) and strengthening the capacity of local industries.

"We have taken this step to help ensure the right medicines and formulations are available locally ... and hope to help as many manufacturers as possible in these hardest hit countries by sharing our knowledge," Burns said in a statement.

Saquinavir, which is recommended by the World Health Organisation, is a protease inhibitor that prevents the HI virus from replicating itself when used in combination with other ARVs.


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