Burundi Wins Discounts for AIDS Medication

BUJUMBURA, Burundi, MAY 2, 2001 (Zenit.org).- AIDS drugs will be available here at prices 90% below those in the United States, under a deal between this Central African nation and four pharmaceutical firms, the PANA news agency reported.

The companies involved in the initiative are Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, and Merck Sharp & Dohme, according to Dr. Joseph Wakana, director of the Program for Struggle Against Aids and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

A series of therapies will be available to doctors and patients, at an annual cost of $700 per patient. The four companies also said they will guarantee the long-term supply of reliable products.

The agreements are included in the framework of an association of five U.N. agencies and five pharmaceutical research laboratories — the four firms mentioned above, plus Hoffman-La Roche — to speed up access to care and treatment for HIV and AIDS patients.