Health GAP (Global Access Project)
For Immediate Release: October 23, 2003
For more information, contact: Asia Russell +1 267 475 2645,
Sharonann Lynch +1 646 645 5225
Generic AIDS Drugs Down to $150 a Year for Poor Countries.
Bush's Bilateral Trade Deals Must Not Jeopardize Access.
(Manhattan) In a breakthrough for the fight against global AIDS, the
Clinton Foundation announced today that it had secured price
reductions with major generic producer so that the average daily cost
of triple-therapy is cut in half to $.36 a day.
Activists state that trade policies being sought by the Bush White
House may prohibit access in some countries and regions to the low
cost generics available through the Clinton initiative, and to
generic versions of newer medicines.
"The candidates for 2004, including President Bush, must pledge to
reverse the current trade policies in so-called "free trade
agreements" that place patents over the lives of millions of people
with AIDS," stated Paul Davis from Health GAP. "We are faced with the
most devastating crisis in history, and the White House is most
concerned with campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical
"This price reduction would double the number of people who could
start life extending treatment," said Asia Russell of Health GAP.
"Generic competition is critical to rapid scale up of treatment
access, and to overcoming the patent barriers that are blocking
access to fixed dose combinations of triple drug therapy. But access
to generics is under threat thanks to the Bush administration's
unrelenting efforts to enhance patent rights and drug company profits
in bilateral and regional trade negotiations with Central America,
the South African Customs Union, the Free Trade Area of the Americas,
Thailand, and Morocco to name only a few," said Russell.
"President Bush has talked a good talk about the global AIDS
pandemic, but his actions speak louder. He reduced his 2004 promise
from $3 billion to $2 billion, undermined the cash-strapped Global
AIDS Fund, and pursues trade policies that will deny access to
affordable generics," stated Health GAP's Sharonann Lynch. "Bush
announced his 'emergency' plan in January of 2003, but so far has
only managed to hire a former pharmaceutical executive as his global