Some 23,000 people in Brazil use the AIDS drug, Kaletra, made by the Abbott laboratories as part of the country’s AIDS program in which they are furnished drugs free of charge by the government.
The good news is that the government has gotten a substantial discount on the drug. Beginning in March of next year the price will come down from US$ 1.17 per capsule to US$ 0.63, reports the Brazilian Health Ministry.
Health Minister, Saraiva Felipe, says that the discount will mean an economy of around US$ 340 million over a five-year period (2006 to 2011) for Brazil.
Meanwhile the Abbott lab announced it will donate some US$ 3 million in other antiretroviral drugs and diagnostic kits. It also said it is studying a discount for Brazil on a new drug, Meltrex, which is still in tests in the US.
The Minister said the discount came after hard negotiations bolstered by Brazil’s stellar reputation in the treating of AIDS.
Brazil is the only developing nation that gives all HIV/AIDS positive persons free care if they need it. Some 160,000 people are enrolled in the program, which has become a model for the world.