Wednesday, March 31, 2010

HIV Drugs Set to Cost Less Through Patent Pool Agreements

A non-profit patent pool based in Switzerland is planned to commence later this year that would allow developing countries to manufacture their own HIV and retroviral drugs. This would greatly reduce costs for countries plagued with HIV/AIDS cases that have previously had to pay high prices for these patent protected drugs.

The cost of actual production for such drugs is relatively low, therefore this agreement between patent-holding drug companies to license their patents to local companies will directly reduce costs of HIV treatment. It’s estimated that participating countries will save about $US 1 Billion dollars a year.

However, this measure has barred middle-income countries including China, Brazil, South Africa, and Thailand from the pool, but policy makers remain hopefully that the agreement will assist low and middle-income countries alike.

-Michelle Leung

Source: Africa Good News