Russians appeal to Glaxosmithkline to lower the cost of antiretroviral drugs
Participants in the third meeting of the Russian Community Advisory Board (RuCAB), organised by the Fund for the Development of Inter-sectoral Partnership, directed an address to the pharmaceutical company calling for a lowering of the price of the antiretroviral drug ‘Kivexa’. Today, the cost of the drug is 2.9 times higher than the average cost of medicine produced by the company, and the costs to the state budget make up 4% of all costs on drug purchase for the treatment of AIDS. What’s more, the quantity of drugs purchased by the government in comparison to 2008 rose by 40%. “According to total sales for the delivery of antiretroviral resources for the state project ‘Health’ in 2009, a major portion of government expenditure went to Glaxosmithkline (30%), from which they had to spend 20% on Combivir and Kivexa,” the address said.
According to the information given by RuCAB, government budget spending in the current financial situation cannot provide for all those who are in need of treatment, and the number of people needing treatment is rising steeply. Forum participants spoke of the urgent need to bring in measures to lower the cost of antiretroviral drugs so patients were consistently provided with them. “We are appealing to Glaxosmithkline to consider reviewing the possibility of lowering the price of the drug Kivexa for the coming year 2010. A lowering of the price would free up funds for additional purchases of drugs for a few hundred or thousands patients,” concluded forum participants. They also discussed the problem of assessing the quality of the treatment of AIDS sufferers and optimising budgets in the context of a financial crisis. The session decidd to address the head of the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Tatiana Golikovaya, with a request to turn her attention to the quality of medical help and the development of suitable instruments of appraisal, reflecting the structure, process and objective results of the medical support for AIDS treatment.
RuCAB was created on the initiative of the Fund for the Development of Inter-sectoral Partnership in 2008. The first pilot meeting took place a year ago. At today’s forum 16 people took part, among them, representatives and leaders of NGOs.
The organiser and chairman of RuCAB, Sergei Smirnov, noted, “the aim and fundamental positive effect of the forum is its position as a platform for systematic and regular discussion of the problem of AIDS treatment and the participation of representatives from a variety of different sectors of society.”
RuCAB: Telephone (495) 251-76-17, 955-78-21, email firstname.lastname@example.org website www.spdfund.org/rucab.php