Letter from Richard Stern, Director of the Agua Buena Human Rights Association, to Peter Piot and Louis Loures of UNAIDS

17 September, 2001
Dr. Peter Piot
Dr. Louis Loures
Geneva, Switzwerland

Dear Dr. Piot and Dr. Loures

Hope all is well is Geneva.

Here in Central America we have good news from the Honduran government in terms of an emergency allocation of $190,000 for ARV purchase, (see article included below) but we are very concerned that the Health Ministry there give consideration to the purchase of generic products such as those of of CIPLA and Rambaxi from India and Rowe in the Dominican Republic, etc.

We feel that UNAIDS and OPS should intervene quickly and promote this possibility, where possible facilitating information about issues related to qualilty control studies.

It would also be helpful if UNAIDS could provide information about countries in which generic products have already been approved for use, since this may serve to reassure other governments including Honduras.

There are many reasons for this to occur now. Among other things, the $190,000 approved by Honduras could provide treatment for up to 400 people for a year if generics are included in the protocol, but without them, and at the current prices offered in Central America by Glaxo, Bristol-Myers, and Roche, only about 50 people could be treated. Also, this is a critical moment in Honduras because the government will also be implementing a larger, permanent budget for AIDS treatment which will begin to take effect in 2002.

I would appreciate your getting back to me as quickly as possible regarding this issue.


Richard Stern
Agua Buena Human Rights Association
San Josť, Costa Rica

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