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MSF says pharmaceutical industry must keep its promise

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On May 11 this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on an offer that was made by five large pharmaceutical companies (Boehringer lngelheim, Bristol Meyers, Glaxo Wellcome, Merck & Co. and Hoffmann-La Roche) to lower the prices of HIV/AIDS drugs in developing countries. Since then however, little has come of this promise.

On the occasion of World Aids Day (1 December), MSF demanded the pharmaceutical companies cut the prices of AIDS drugs by 95% in developing countries. One method of lowering the prices would be to produce generic drugs locally.

An example of a success using this direction can be found in Brazil. For the same cost as treating 1,000 HIV/AIDS patients in Brazil, only 228 can be treated in Uganda, according to an MSF survey.