Letter from Senators Daschle, McCain and Kennedy to the GAO requesting a cost study of HIV/AIDS drugs

June 13, 2003

The Honorable David Walker
Comptroller General of the United States
441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20548

Dear Mr. Comptroller General:

We are writing to request the assistance of GAO to analyze the cost of manufacturing drugs to treat persons with HIV/AIDS, and the price paid for those drugs by US government agencies for use in the developing world.

On May 27, the President signed into law H.R.1298, which authorizes the appropriation of $15 billion for FY 2004 through FY 2008 for the global HIV/AIDS fight, including to purchase drugs to treat persons with HIV/AIDS in developing countries. We feel strongly that these funds should be used to purchase products of assured quality at the lowest reasonable price, so that taxpayers will receive the greatest value for this urgently needed investment to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

President Bush has also expressed an interest in purchasing drugs to treat persons with HIV/AIDS at an economical cost. To ensure efficient use of taxpayer resources, we wish to obtain accurate information about the cost of manufacturing these drugs and the prices that will be paid for them in resource-poor countries. We request, therefore, that GAO study and issue a report as expeditiously as possible to:

Thank you very much for considering this request. We would be pleased to discuss it with you in greater detail, and we look forward to your report.

With best wishes, I am

Tom Daschle

John McCain

Edward M. Kennedy

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