Data on Thai Compulsory License Benefits

Thailand’s National Health Security Office (Sub-committee for Benefits and Services Development) has published some data on the number of patients benefiting from the drugs that were compulsory licensed in late 2006/early 2007.

As of January 2008, roughly 24,000 people were taking the generic version of efavirenz, roughly a tripling of the number using the medication before the compulsory license.

About 2,500 were using generic lopinavir/ritonavir, again roughly three times the number on the higher-priced brand-name therapy before the compulsory license was issued.

A powerpoint with data as of February 2008 is available here: ThaiCLdrugUse.ppt. The chart for efavirenz shows a big initial boost and then decline, which I’m told reflects an initial stockpiling by hospitals. Afterwards, the numbers steadily rise to the current level.

— Robert Weissman