MSF imports generic AZT to El Salvador

Following recent successes from the MSF Access to Essential Medicines Campaign, the MSF team in El Salvador has imported generic zidovudine (AZT). The patent law in the El Salvador protects a products means of production. Therefore, it is possible to import generic medicines produced by a different method than the original product. Glaxo's zidovudine was quoted at US $0.79 per tablet. The Spanish generic version from CombinoPharm costs $0.24 per tablet. Even less expensive generics are available but the quality of the Spanish product was considered to be better established. The medicine will be used to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus from pregnant mothers to their babies. While the number of existing cases of HIV in El Salvador is not as high in Africa or Asia, the number of new cases per year is one of the highest in Central America.