Groups Urge Colombia To Issue AIDS Drug License

Groups Urge Colombia To Issue AIDS Drug License

By Ed Silverman // August 6th, 2008 // 4:06 pm
Pharmalot

An international coalition of patient and public health advocacy groups has sent a letter to representatives of the Colombian government, endorsing a recent request by several Colombian civil society groups for an open compulsory license on Abbott’s Kaletra AIDS medicine.

Kaletra currently costs the Colombian public sector about $1,683 per patient annually, and prices for private health organizations reach $4,449, according to the groups. Peru and Bolivia, by contrast, pay less than $800 for a generic version. Through a recent accord with the Clinton Foundation, prices in the region could fall to $550, and by issuing a compulsory license and allowing generics firms to compete with Kaletra, the Colombian government could save $1 million annually, the groups contend.

The coalition issued its letter today at the International AIDS Conference being held this week in Mexico City, and the groups include Doctors Without Borders, Health Action International, American Medical Student Association, Health GAP and ACT UP, among about two dozen others. We are awaiting a reply from Abbott.