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ViiV denies changing discounts to AIDS drugs

World News | July 22, 2011


Kevin Grogan

ViiV denies changing discounts to AIDS drugs

ViiV Healthcare, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline's HIV joint venture, has rejected comments made by a leading medical charity that the company no longer offers reduced prices to middle-income countries.

The claim was made earlier this week by Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF – Doctors Without Borders) which has analysed the prices of 23 antiretrovirals with information provided by 19 manufacturers. With regards to ViiV, MSF said it was giving no discounts to middle-income countries "even when programmes are fully funded by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria or the US-government’s PEPFAR programme".

However, ViiV communications chief Rebecca Hunt has contacted PharmaTimes World News and says the MSF claim is not true. In middle income countries, she noted that the firm has a flexible pricing policy "which factors in gross domestic product and the impact of the epidemic in each country to improve affordability".

Ms Hunt added that "we approach these on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the local needs and situation – this may include, for example building local manufacturing and marketing partnerships, facilitating technology transfer".

She concluded by stating that ViiV's access to medicines programme, which covers 135 countries, "is transparent and is well recognised by the global health community". For least-developed and low income countries, plus Sub-Saharan Africa, the firm offers not-for-profit prices and royalty-free voluntary licences. 

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