Category Archives: Anti-Retro Viral Drugs

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India is top AIDS drug supplier, but its own poor can’t afford it

Second-line treatment costs `4 – 6K per month. Yet, only a handful of patients are ‘eligible’ to get it for free.
Even as India emerges as the leading supplier of AIDS medicines globally, patients in the country can barely afford their monthly treatments. India supplied over 80% of all AIDS medicines between 2002 and 2008 to four million people across African countries such as Congo, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria, and developing countries in South America, a recent study
by the Journal of International AIDS Society revealed.
“”But several Indians themselves are unable to consume them as the government policies to avail free treatment are unwelcoming,”” says Loon Gangte, president of Delhi Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS. The government has been providing free primary or first-line AIDS medicines since 2004, long after AIDS was first detected in the 1980s. However, several AIDS patients have developed resistance to first-line medicines, and require second-line medicines, which are beyond their reach. “The government is obliged to provide free treatment to all HIV/AIDS patients. It started providing free second-line treatment from 2008, but it has laid down unfriendly criteria to avail it.”

“The Indian “”role”” for South Africa-
As a part of the ‘Brand India Promotion’ project, Pharmexcil had organised four events that included meeting of African Ambassadors in India, high-level delegation to Africa Health Ministers Conference in Ethiopia, Trade delegation to Southern African countries and Indo-Africa Pharma Business who met at Hyderabad in September 2009 last year.
The brand building programmes are part of the Indian government’s aggressive campaign against the MNCs’ propaganda against generic drugs in the African countries. It will be a major platform for the Indian pharma industry and the government to allay any fears among the African countries about the quality of Indian generic drugs.
The ‘Indian pharma brand building campaign’ is expected to convince the African countries about the quality of Indian generic drugs and also to convince them that generic drugs are not counterfeit drugs as is being spread by the MNCs.
Spreading the message of therapeutically proven bio equivalent generic drugs of the Indian Pharmaceutical industry in the African zone would help in convincing the payers of the region.
The Scene in the South African region- The need for cost effective treatment
National treatment guidelines that take effect in South Africa on April 1 will make anti retrovirals (ARVs) available to almost 500,000 people, including HIV-positive infants, some pregnant HIV-positive women, and all TB/HIV co-infected patients. Some 70 per cent of people treated for TB in South Africa are also HIV-positive. The introduction of earlier-stage HIV treatment should help prevent those with latent TB from developing the full-blown disease.
Stigma surrounding HIV-Aids, and to a lesser extent TB, continues to prevent affected people going to clinics for testing and treatment. However, the government’s determination to dispel the myths and misinformation about the infectious diseases that are commonplace in most poor communities has impressed activists. ”

“The messages received from the African nations in desperate need of anti-retroviral drugs are advertised by every major clip on the web.
This is certainly good news for the Global Pharma Industry in big way. The only missing link is that the same is under reported according to the United Nations AIDS agency. Accurate measures of population with HIV/AIDS are unavailable as most of the cases go undetected and hence the overall number is technically under reported.
All drug companies which are in the business of Anti Retroviral have reasons to rejoice over this “”epic”” declaration. But are the norms in the countries of IDs prevalence favorable to exports from other countries. Only government quotas of drugs are available to the population and that too in limited numbers.
Secondly, the consignments of drugs used for HIV/AIDs have to pass through the EU gateway and the EU gateway is certainly not favoring the Indian Pharma geography by any means. This is evident from the drug seizures in the EU countries like France and Netherlands.
The willingness is evident everywhere but the waiting still persists…..”

“Drum beats, beat the sticks on the table, beat your own trumpet, beat recession, beat targets, beat competition and race ahead ….. So may beats. These are just a few of the commonly used “”beats.””
Beating HIV is the key motto and agenda for the drug industry today. Global policymakers must realize the key lies in prevention rather than treatment.
The key to controlling HIV lies in prevention rather than treatment. However, this is still not commonly accepted global policy: 87% of UNAIDS reporting countries have treatment targets, but only about 50% have targets for prevention strategies. There have been recent advances in the area of prevention with regard to mother-to-child transmission. With further funding, this method of HIV infection could be removed completely in the near future. To be most effective, prevention strategies should be focused on and tailored for populations most at risk. While prevention of sexual transmission still represents the greatest opportunity for progress in developing countries, intravenous drug use is a huge problem elsewhere. For example, 83% of new HIV cases in Russia are related to drug use.
The Market
Many pharmaceutical companies competing for market share have shifted their emphasis towards untreated HIV patient populations. While there are a high number of infected and undiagnosed patients, those diagnosed but untreated are of most interest. The fact that these patients are untreated is due to a lack of guidelines and the desire of physicians to delay the start of treatment when patients are relatively healthy. Patients themselves also want to postpone any treatment that will continue for the rest of their lives and generate significant side effects.”