New agreements aim to make lowest-cost AIDS drugs and diagnostics available to hundreds of thousands in developing world
The Global Fund, the World Bank, UNICEF and the Clinton Foundation today announced agreements that will make it possible for developing countries to purchase high-quality AIDS medicines and diagnostics at the lowest available prices, in many cases for more than fifty percent less than is currently available
An Aids treatment plan, which includes the provision of anti-retroviral drugs at state health facilities, was presented to Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang in Pretoria on Tuesday afternoon. She is to present it to Cabinet, said Anthony MBewu, who headed the task team that drew up the plan. The Cabinet would take a final decision on how the roll-out will occur, he added. The team was appointed last month after a Cabinet decision. They drew up the operational plan with the help of staff of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation of the United States. The drafting included visits to all nine provinces to assess provincial plans and preparedness. Earlier this month, Ira Magaziner, chairperson of the Clinton Foundation's Aids initiative, told reporters that if Cabinet approved the plan, it would be possible to introduce it almost immediately. That did not mean all people in need of antiretrovirals would get them straight away though, he added. We congratulate the task team for completing its task within the deadline as set by Cabinet. (Source: Sapa September 30 2003 )
The Bush administration indicated on 20/02 that it will uphold an executive order issued last year by President Clinton that excludes sub-Saharan African countries from U.S. trade and patent laws concerning HIV/AIDS pharmaceuticals and medical technologies.