MSF Pilot Antiretroviral Program Using Brazilian Generics
On January 29, 2002, members of the Treatment Access Campaign (TAC) imported
a shipment of generic antiretroviral drugs from Brazil for use
in a program run by Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Kayelitsha. The drugs
imported were AZT, 3TC, AZT+3TC, and Nevirapine. By using
generics the cost of antiretrovirals per patient per day falls from US$3.20 to
US$1.55, allowing MSF to treat more people. The anti-AIDS program in Kayleitsha
shows that treatment is possible in areas with limited resources and challenges the
South African government to provide low-cost medicine to its HIV+ citizens.
The drugs are patented in South Africa, so if the government were to import
generics from Brazil or anywhere else, it would need to either get a voluntary
license from the patent-holding pharmaceutical company, or issue a
- October 223, 2003. Stephanie Nolen for the Globe and Mail.
As South Africa prepares a plan to treat the epidemic, people are already
being assisted with free drugs from MSF.
- February 25, 2002. Op-Ed by Richard Tren for the Wall Street Journal (European edition).
The Boys From Brazil. (For more on Richard Tren, see the CPTech page on
Pharma's Favorite Experts.)
- February 1, 2002. Belinda Beresford for the Mail and Guardian.
Patent busters take on the drug companies.
- January 30, 2002. Mark Schoofs for the Wall Street Journal.
Physicians' Group Defies Patent Law To Bring AIDS Drugs to South Africa.
- January 30, 2002. Sarah Bosley for the Guardian.
Aids drugs bring hope to S. Africa.
- January 30, 2002. Reuters.
AIDS Drugs form Brazil.
- January 29, 2002. Nicol Degli Innocenti for the Financial Times.
Unions defy South Africa's Aids policy.
- January 29, 2002. CNN.
Generic AIDS drugs imported into S. Africa, despite ban.
- January 29, 2002. Associated Press.
Generic AIDS Drugs Come to S. Africa
- January 29, 2002. Anso Thom for the Star.
TAC, Cosatu bring in cheap AIDS drugs.