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Free drugs for SA HIV patients.

Following pressure from AIDS activists in South Africa, the Pfizer pharmaceutical company will distribute the drug Diflucan free to HIV patients suffering from cryptococcal meningitis. The drug normally costs around $15 a day and without it, most patients would die. Around 400,000 people with HIV in South Africa contract cryptococcal meningitis, an infection of the brain, every year but daily treatment turns a terminal disease into a chronic but treatable illness.

Pfizer is requesting a meeting with the Ministry of Health in South Africa to seek its collaboration. Campaigners say this development will increase pressure on the government and other drugs companies to at least reduce the cost of anti-AIDS treatment.
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Publication:African Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:May 1, 2000
Words:112
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