'Campaigners call for cheaper version of costly HIV drug'

6 June, 2024

This could be a game changer for HIV/AIDS treatment for LLMICs. READ ON [*see notes below]

HIV/AIDS News Update Pharmaceutical

Campaigners call for cheaper version of costly HIV drug

June 5, 2024

Former world leaders, celebrities and a Nobel prize-winning scientist who helped discover HIV have written to US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences pleading with it to make an expensive “gamechanger” HIV medicine available to people in poorer countries.

The drug, Lenacapavir, can treat HIV when given as two injections a year. Ongoing trials are expected to show it is also an effective prevention drug, reports The Guardian.

Currently it is available only in a few wealthy countries with a price tag of $42 250 in the US for the first year of treatment, and $39 000 for subsequent years. The company’s patent will not run out for almost two decades.

SOURCE: https://www.medicalbrief.co.za/campaigners-call-for-cheaper-version-of-c...

Joseph Ana

Prof Joseph Ana

Lead Senior Fellow/ medical consultant.

Center for Clinical Governance Research &

Patient Safety (ACCGR&PS) @ HRI GLOBAL

P: +234 (0) 8063600642

E: info@hri-global.org

8 Amaku Street, State Housing, Calabar, Nigeria.


[*Notes from HIFA moderator (NPW):

1. Strictly speaking, access to medicines (as opposed to access to reliable information on medicines) is outside the remit of HIFA. Normally we refer such messages to the E-DRUG discussion forum. Their site is https://talk.edrugplus.org - I see they have had challenges recently. Are HIFA members aware of any other discussion forums that address issues of access to medicines?

2. 'Former world leaders, celebrities and a Nobel prize-winning scientist' have written to Gilead to 'ensure that people in the Global South living with or at risk of HIV can access this groundbreaking medicine'. Their letter does not mention whether Lenacapavir is designated an essential medicine by WHO. It is possible that Gilead might reduce the price for LMICs without this, but the case would be much stronger if it were designated an essential medicine on WHO's EML. I would think a first step would be to argue the case for Lenacapovir to be designated as an essential medicine on WHO's EML. I did a search for "lenacapavir should be an essential medicine" and could not find any advocacy on this issue.]