Aspen to Produce New U.S. Aids Drugs, Sell Them in Africa, by Tamar Kahn

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Aspen’s head of strategic trade, Stavros Nicolau, said Gilead would provide Aspen with the ingredients and technology to make the drugs, and Aspen would seek licensing approval in African countries where they were not registered. Aspen had lodged an application to register Viread with the Medicines Control Council and planned to follow suit with Truvada shortly.
Nicolau declined to comment on projected sales volumes, but said the African market had strong potential as only about 7%-8% of patients who needed AIDS drugs had access to them.
Aspen would sell Viread and Truvada to African countries at Gilead’s global access programme prices of 80c per patient a day, said Nicolau. Under the programme, Gilead provides AIDS drugs to poor countries at discounted prices for public- and private-sector patients.
Viread and Truvada are new-generation antiretrovirals that are increasingly prescribed in the US and Europe for strains of HIV that are resistant to other drugs. They had fewer side effects and were taken only once a day, said Nicolau.
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Source: Business Day (Johannesburg)