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UNITAID to Provide USD 77 million For Better HIV Medicines

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Improving Lives of Hundreds of Thousands

Geneva – 11 June 2013 UNITAID has committed funds of up to USD 77 million to provide a newer antiretroviral regimen for hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries living with HIV.  This will replace an older treatment which has life-threatening and disfiguring side effects.  The effort will enable better access to the new medicines by stimulating market competition and reducing prices by at least 30%, and is in strategic collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  The new tenofovir-based treatment regimen is recommended by WHO.

Despite WHO recommending the new regimen, an estimated one million people in developing countries are still on stavudine-based treatment.  Stavudine was once the standard of care but it is no longer recommended by WHO because of severe and disfiguring side effects. At more than US$ 150 per person per year, tenofovir-based treatment taken as a single pill once daily is over twice the price of stavudine-based treatment, which costs less than US$ 60. This poses a challenge for countries which have already set their treatment budgets based on the lower-priced treatment.

UNITAID’s proposed intervention would address this challenge through negotiating with manufacturers for lower prices and temporarily subsidizing the difference between stavudine and tenofovir-based treatment. Various stakeholders would be involved with implementing this proposal, including UNITAID, WHO, the Global Fund, and the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Contact

Contact: Clare Courtney, UNITAID Communications, Tel. +41 22 791 45 81; Mob. +41 79 445 22 80; Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more info: www.unitaid.org

Implementers

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