Catholic Hospital in Kenya Offers Cheaper Medication for AIDS

Patients Will Save at Least 75% of Previous Price

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NAIROBI, Kenya, OCT. 26, 2001 ( Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Nairobi has reduced the prices of some AIDS-fighting medications by at least 75%. This follows its inclusion as a designated HIV-AIDS center.

A Dr. Chege, the hospital´s chief pharmacist, told the CISA agency that a triple combination of drugs (Strocrin, Videx and Zerit) used to cost $461.50 a month, but is now down to $83.40, a price reduction of about 82%.

She said the 90 capsules of Strocrin required every month now cost $51 — 78% lower than the usual $228.

Chege said some major pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Glaxo and Merck, are supplying drugs at special low prices to the HIV/AIDS centers. Other Nairobi hospitals designated under this nonprofit project are also involved.

The centers can charge 5% above initial costs as a handling fee. A few nongovernmental organizations are also participating in the project. Mater Misericordiae Hospital can be contacted at

The Mission for Essential Drugs Supplies will supply AIDS-fighting drugs to mission hospitals at low prices, said its assistant general manager of operations, Dr. Jane Masiga.

Masiga told CISA that these developments are a result of the campaign for access to essential drugs, which climaxed with a court victory in mid-2001 in South Africa. In June Kenya´s Parliament passed legislation allowing the importation or manufacture of cheap anti-AIDS drugs.

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