The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) has teamed up with UNITAID and the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) to negotiate new price reductions on key antiretroviral (ARV) drug regimens. Today’s announcement means HIV/AIDS treatment will be more widely available as the newly reduced price ceilings will be available to most of the 70 countries in CHAI’s Procurement Consortium.
The biggest price reductions are on tenofovir (TDF) and efavirenz (EFV) based products. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) now recommends TDF as one of the preferred first-line treatment options, TDF-based regimens have always been too expensive for developing countries. In 2008, low-income countries paid on average $400 per patient, per year, for a once-daily regimen including TDF and EFV. The same regimen is now available at $159 per patient, per year, a reduction of 60 percent from the average price paid in 2008, and 14 percent from the CHAI ceiling price announced last year.
Reductions have also occurred on second-line drugs, with new WHO-recommended regimens priced at $410 per year, down sharply from 2008 when low-income countries paid an average of $800-$1,200 per patient, per year, for the most popular second-line regimens.
Price reductions were made possible through efforts to build demand for new products while partnering with suppliers to achieve cost reductions through more efficient manufacturing processes and sourcing of raw materials. These new price reductions will generate global savings of at least $600 million over the next three years.
In a press release President William J. Clinton stated “With more than nine million people worldwide in need of HIV/AIDS treatment, we must see rapid action to increase people’s access to treatment. Over 70 countries and 70% of the HIV-infected population have access to the prices my Foundation negotiated; so these new price reductions, which have been agreed to by a wide range of suppliers, will provide millions of people with increased access to better, cheaper and more convenient first and second-line drug regimens. We have helped almost four million people gain access to life-saving medicine, and I’m proud that we can now reach millions more. ”