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Shift to generic HIV drugs increased access, saved money.

Expedited approval and use of generic antiretroviral medications within the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has led to increased access to such medications in PEPFAR-funded countries and cost savings of more than $300 million between 2005 and 2008. (1) According to an analysis of annual survey data from 16 countries funded by PEPFAR, annual spending on antiretroviral drugs almost doubled between 2005 and 2008, from $117 million to $202 million, with spending on generic medications increasing from 9% ($11 million) to 76% ($155 million) of the total drug expenditure per year. Procurement also increased substantially, from six million one-month antiretroviral packs to 22 million between 2005 and 2008. The proportion of the antiretroviral packs procured that were generic rose from 15% in 2005 to 89% in 2008. In 15 of the 16 PEPFAR-funded countries studied, more than 80% of the monthly packs procured in 2008 were generic, ranging from 81% in Uganda to 100% in Zimbabwe; the exception was South Africa, where only 25% of the packs procured that year were generic. The estimated yearly cost savings generated by using generic rather than proprietary antiretroviral drugs increased from $8.1 million in 2005 to $214.6 million in 2008, for an overall savings of more than $323.3 million during the four-year-period.

(1.) Holmes CB et al., Use of genetic antiretroviral agents and cost savings in PEPFAR treatment programs, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2010, 304(3):313-320.

Update is compiled and written by Jared Rosenberg, senior editor of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.
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Title Annotation:UPDATE
Author:Rosenberg, Jared
Publication:International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Article Type:Author abstract
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2010
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