ABN - Makers of HIV/AIDS treatment will begin mass producing state-of-the-art drugs for Africa after billionaire Bill Gates’ charitable foundation secured a multi-million dollar price guarantee.
The work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has ensured that Africans will not have to pay over US$75 per patient for the treatment after the price cap was established with the manufacturers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma.
The agreement will enable the treatment to become available in 92 poor countries starting in Africa, with global health experts hoping the deal will address the current major concerns in the HIV epidemic.
The new combination pills, which use an integrase inhibitor called dolutegravir, will counter the rising threat of resistance developing to standard drugs, while the deal should also highlight the need for further investment in manufacturing capacity.
“We need to make that guarantee because [of] the fixed costs of everybody gearing up to make high volume,” said Gates. “That just wasn’t going to happen unless we put forward a very substantial volume guarantee.”