BRAND-NAME VS. GENERIC DRUGS
Patents drive drug prices up…
- for example, a country that is required to purchase brand name drugs from Western industry will spend more than US$ 1,500 a year per patient for standard AIDS therapy.
- Equivalent generic drugs are available for US$ 350 per patient per year. In other words, 5 times more people could be treated on the same budget.
- Although Anti-Retroviral therapy (ARV) for AIDS is more affordable and has been proven to be efficient even in poor settings, only 400,000 out of 6 million people in need have access to this life-prolonging treatment.
- The 3-by-5 Initiative* was created to help 3 million AIDS patients in the developing world to get ARV therapy by the year 2005. It will buy massive quantities of fixed-dose generics for as low as US$140 per person/per year.
* Launched by the Global Fund, the Clinton Foundation, UNICEF, and the World Bank.