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[e-drug] BMS: USD 347 for didanosine+stavudine per year

E-DRUG: BMS: USD 347 for didanosine+stavudine per year
[crossposted from Pharm-Policy with thanks; 4 messages
combined into one! 
Besides a price reduction for a TWO-drug combination to USD 347 
per year, BMS (with support of patent holder Yale University) now also 
offers voluntary licenses for local production in Africa. 
Any takers?

Please note that the Indian generic company Hetero offered
a THREE-drug combination for the same USD 347.
Amazing, how fast the prices are going down right now!

The combination of cheap generics with the threat of
compulsory licensing seems to drive prices down really fast!
Big Pharma seems to want to avoid a compulsory license at
all cost. This is good news for HIV+ people in poor countries.

The pressure will soon shift to Ministries of Health:
are they prepared to start pilot projects with ARVs??  NN]


Bristol-Myers Squibb Announces Accelerated Effort To Fight HIV/AIDS In Africa 

Company launches four-part plan: 


Bristol-Myers Squibb will make Videx® (didanosine) and Zerit®
(stavudine), its two medicines for HIV/AIDS, available in poor countries
in Africa at 15 cents per day for Zerit and 80 cents per day for Videx
-- prices below their cost to the company.


The prices of the products offered under the ACCESS program will be
fully public.


Bristol-Myers Squibb pledges an additional $15 million in funds for our
SECURE THE FUTURE initiative in southern Africa, raising the program
total to $115 million.


Bristol-Myers Squibb has made an agreement with Yale University to grant
a free license under the patent for Zerit (rights to which are owned by
Yale and Bristol-Myers Squibb) to treat AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

[also from BMS:]

``This is not about profits and patents; it's about poverty and a 
devastating disease,'' said John L. McGoldrick, executive vice president, 
Bristol-Myers Squibb. ``We seek no profits on AIDS drugs in Africa, and we 
will not let our patents be an obstacle.''
Bristol-Myers Squibb has been active for several years in finding 
innovative and workable approaches to dealing with the HIV/AIDS crisis in 
Africa, culminating with the announcement today of this four-point program. 
In 1999, the company launched its $100 million, ``Secure the Future'' 
initiative to fund research, training and community outreach in southern 
Africa. In May 2000, as part of the Access initiative, the company lowered 
its prices of AIDS medicines in poor countries by 90 percent of what they 
cost in the developed world.

``The facts are clear: the African continent is at risk, health 
infrastructure needs are huge, and urgent action is needed now,'' said Mr. 
McGoldrick. ``Of 36 million HIV-positive people worldwide, 25 million are 
in Africa. An estimated 12-15 million Africans may be medically eligible 
for drug treatment, more than ten times the number receiving treatment 
today worldwide. We intend to do our part, but all agree that drugs alone 
will not solve the problem. Massive expenditures to address healthcare 
infrastructure needs are critical. African governments and donor 
governments in Europe, Japan and the U.S. must join with U.N. 
organizations, pharmaceutical companies, non-governmental organizations and 
others to address this human tragedy in Africa.''

``We at Bristol-Myers Squibb certainly do not have all the answers. But we 
hope our initiatives can be of some help to African AIDS sufferers and may 
help energize and accelerate world understanding and action. Outside 
Africa, we will maintain our existing ACCESS pricing program and address 
the subject on a country-by-country basis,'' he said.

CONTACT: Bob Laverty, 212-546-3993, or Patti Duquette, 609-252-3390, both 
of Public Affairs of Bristol-Myers Squibb.
SOURCE: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

[comment by Jamie Love]
If CIPLA can sell a 3 drug cocktail for $1 per day., how does BMS figure
that $1 for ddI and d4T (2 drugs) is below costs?  


Corrections or additions to this are welcome. Jamie


ddI Patent Information

     According to UNAIDS, the United States of America has been granted
patent rights in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germancy, Ireland,
Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden,
Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and USA (UNAIDS/WHO, Patent situation
of HIV/AIDS related drugs in 80 countries). According to UNAIDS, the
United States of America filed for patent rights in Australia, Cyprus,
Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore (Ibid). 

     The UNAIDS study also noted that the Wellcome Foundation was
granted patent rights for ddI in Canada, Austria Belgium, France,
Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechstenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the USA. The
Wellcome Foundation filed for patent rights in Australia, Denmark,
Finland, Greece, Hungary New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain (Ibid).. 

     Bristol-Myers Squibb has been granted foreign patent rights in
Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy,
Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden,
and the United Kingdom. 


Yale has been granted patent rights in Austria, Belgium, Canada,France,
Germany,Greece,Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein,Luxembourg,
Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom,
and the USA. 

     Yale filed for patent rights in Australia, Denmark, Egypt,Finland,
Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania,
Singapore, South Africa, and Taiwan.

     It is possible that other firms may be sought to obtain patents on
d4T in other countries, particularly in countries that have a "first to
file" system. Other persons may also hold other patents on d4T, such as
formulation, dose or treatment regime patents. We have not looked at
this yet. But the US "orange" book only lists the Yale patent.

James Love
Consumer Project on Technology
P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
1.202.387.8030 fax
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