e-med
[Top] [All Lists]

[e-med] Sida: Baisse de prix pour deux antirétroviraux en Afrique

E-MED: Sida: Baisse de prix pour deux antirétroviraux en Afrique
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

[ceci explique cela... ci-joint cette revue de presse franco-anglaise.CB]

Sida : Que pèse l?Afrique face aux labos ?
Radio France International
http://www.radiofranceinternationale.fr/special.asp?m1=1&m2=1&SurTitre='Sida
'&Titre='Que%20pèse%20lAfrique%20face%20aux%20labos ?'

Interlocuteurs obligés des gouvernements, les  multinationales de l?
industrie pharmaceutique disposent d?une puissance (politique et financière)
supérieure à celle de la plupart des pays africains.

Combien pèsent les pays du Sud face aux groupes pharmaceutiques? La réponse
est sans appel: presque rien. Si l?on prend en compte les cinq principales
multinationales de l?industrie du médicament, leur valeur boursière cumulée
est deux fois supérieure au produit national brut de l?ensemble des pays d?
Afrique sub-saharienne.

A lui seul, le laboratoire Merck Sharp and Dohme réalise des bénéfices (6,9
milliards de dollars) équivalents au PIB(produit intérieur brut) de la
République démocratique du Congo. Les profits de Pfizer (6,5 milliards de
francs) pèsent autant que le PIB de l?Ethiopie et ceux de Bristol Myers
Squibb atteignent le montant du PIB du Gabon.

Le déséquilibre, en terme de puissance financière, est donc flagrant. Cela
permet d?évaluer plus justement les rapports de force lors des discussions
entre les pays africains et les laboratoires qui fabriquent et
commercialisent notamment les traitements anti-sida. De surcroît, il faut
également savoir que l?Afrique ne représente qu?un marché «anecdotique» aux
yeux des multinationales du médicament (1,3% des ventes mondiales).

L'industrie pharmaceutique, qui est considérée comme l?une des plus
rentables à l?heure actuelle, aux Etats-Unis (avec un taux de retour sur
investissement deux fois supérieur à la moyenne des industries) pèse
également très lourd dans les choix de l?administration américaine, à
travers notamment l?Association des producteurs et chercheurs dans le
domaine pharmaceutique (PhRMA), qui constitue un groupe de pression très
influent.

Lors de la dernière élection présidentielle américaine, la PhRMA, a versé 25
millions de dollars dans la campagne électorale. Oubliant ses habituelles
précautions, l?Association a mis presque tous ses ?ufs dans le même panier
en versant 70% de cette somme aux républicains de George W Bush. Un
investissement qui n?a pas été inutile, puisque le nouveau président a
intégré au sein de son équipe plusieurs membres de PhRMA. Le groupe de
pression n?en oublie pas pour autant les démocrates puisque les 300
lobbyistes qu?il appointe au Congrès «s?occupent» aussi bien des sénateurs
et représentants démocrates que républicains.

Les laboratoires disposent d?une force de frappe colossale lorsqu?il s?agit
de faire prévaloir leur point de vue notamment en ce qui concerne la défense
de la propriété intellectuelle. Bien que les industriels aient joué un rôle
de premier plan au sein de l?Organisation mondiale du commerce dans la
rédaction de l?accord Adpic (Accord sur les droits de propriété
intellectuelle qui touchent au commerce, en anglais Trips), ils s?opposent
aujourd?hui à l?invocation de cette clause pour permettre à l?Afrique du Sud
d?avoir accès à des médicaments génériques ou au Brésil d?en produire.

Il faut dire que les brevets sont au c?ur du système économique qui régit l?
industrie pharmaceutique. Ils garantissent pendant 20 ans l?exclusivité de l
?exploitation d?un médicament à son inventeur. Si l?on écoute Jeff Trewitt,
le porte-parole de phRMA : «Les brevets sont comme le sang qui irrigue l?
innovation. Il en coûte environ 500 millions de dollars pour développer un
nouveau médicament et l?abrogation arbitraire des brevets tuerait le
système». Une prise de position qui ne correspond pas  exactement à la
réalité dans la mesure où nombre de découvertes en matière de médicaments
ont été faites à l?issue de recherches financées sur fonds publics, y
compris aux Etats-Unis où la découverte d?au moins six  molécules utilisées
dans le traitement du sida ont été mises au point lors de travaux financés
par le National Institute of Health, un organisme public.

PHILIPPE COUVE
14/03/2001

[remarques: et les sommes investies par les labos dans la promotion
pharmaceutique ? Elles seraient supérieures aux frais de recherches. CB]

**************

Mme Brundtland s'est dite "encouragée" dans sa lutte contre le sida

   GENEVE, 14 mars (AFP) - La directrice générale de l'Organisation mondiale
de la Santé, Gro Harlem Brundtland s'est dite "encouragée" dans sa lutte
contre le sida, après l'annonce mercredi du groupe pharmaceutique américain
Bristol-Myers Squibb de baisser le prix de ses médicaments pour les
thérapies anti-sida en Afrique.

   Dans un communiqué publié mercredi à Genève, la directrice de l'OMS
déclare être "vraiment encouragée par l'engagement croissant et la volonté
du secteur privé de collaborer avec les gouvernements et les organisations
internationales pour lutter contre l'épidémie du sida".

   Le développement de cet engagement "accroît la pression sur les
gouvernements et les organisations internationales pour assurer que les
fonds à débourser pour ces médicaments soient rendus disponibles, et que les
systèmes de santé soient renforcés pour être capables d'assurer un
accroissement de 500 fois des soins de santé nécessaires", a-t-elle
expliqué.

   Le groupe pharmaceutique américain Bristol-Myers Squibb a annoncé
mercredi qu'il baissait à son tour le prix de ses médicaments pour les
thérapies anti-sida en Afrique, après une initiative similaire annoncée la
semaine dernière par un autre groupe américain, Merck.


*************

[Modérateur : et pour ceux qui veulent en savoir plus... mais en anglais!
Remerciement à treatment-access.CB]


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

Company launches four-part plan:

AIDS drugs below cost

Bristol-Myers Squibb will make Videx(r) () and Zerit(r) (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.

Transparent pricing for AIDS drugs in Africa

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

$115 million in  Secure the Future  philanthropy

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.

Emergency patent relief

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.

"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 website: http://www.bms.com/

-----

and a news items on this topic .....

Bristol-Myers Squibb Offers to Sell AIDS Drugs in Africa at Below Cost
The Wall Street Journal - March 15, 2001

Saying it wants to stimulate a vigorous international response to the AIDS
crisis in Africa, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is offering to sell its two HIV
medicines to poor nations on the continent at just below the drugs' cost,
the first time any drug maker has made such a proposal.

The New York pharmaceutical giant says it will sell its AIDS drug Zerit for
15 cents a day, or $54 a patient for a year's worth of therapy. That price
is about one-fifth the already discounted amount Bristol-Myers began
charging in Africa for Zerit since last summer. Zerit sells in the U.S. and
Europe for about $3,589 per patient per year.

Bristol-Myers officials also say the company won't use its patent on Zerit
in South Africa to block that country's efforts to buy less expensive
versions of the drug from generic makers in India. In fact, Bristol-Myers is
publicly acknowledging that it has almost no patent protection for its AIDS
drugs in sub-Saharan Africa. It has a Zerit patent only in South Africa. And
it has no patent for Videx in any sub-Saharan country. That means that right
now any nation or medical center in the region could legally buy generic
copies of those drugs if it chose to make such an effort.

Bristol-Myers's announcement follows an offer from Merck & Co. last week to
sell two of its AIDS drugs at cost, or at about 45% to 55% less than the
discounted price it offered last year. It also comes on the heels of
significant price reductions by two Indian generic-drug makers.

"Our goal here is to energize a groundswell of action that needs to be
undertaken if we are going to do any good in fighting this terrible problem
in Africa," says John L. McGoldrick, executive vice president of
Bristol-Myers.

In recent weeks, activists have stepped up their pressure on drug companies
to make AIDS drugs more affordable in the sub-Sahara, where 26 million of
the world's 35 million HIV-infected people live.

Mr. McGoldrick says his company is frustrated that a round of reduced price
offers made by Bristol-Myers, Merck and three other drug companies last May
hasn't yet had much impact in Africa. So far only four countries -- Rwanda,
Ivory Coast, Uganda and Senegal -- have accepted the new prices offered last
year.

Bristol-Myers is taking the latest step, Mr. McGoldrick says, because "we
want to do our part." But, he adds: "African governments and donor
governments in Europe, Japan and the U.S. must join with the U.N.
organizations, pharmaceutical companies, nongovernmental organizations and
others to address this human tragedy."

The Bristol-Myers executive echoed statements made last week by Merck
officials. By bringing prices down about as low as they believe they can go,
both companies hope to trigger a response by wealthy nations and others that
might subsidize the costs of the drugs.

Even at the newly reduced prices, the drug therapy will remain far beyond
the economic reach of most in Africa. Bristol-Myers says that as part of its
new proposal, it will sell Zerit and Videx for a combined price of $1 a day,
or $365 a year. But those two drugs must still be combined with a third to
complete the AIDS regimen. Merck's new reduced price for its drug Crixivan
is $600 a year, and its new price for Stocrin is $500 a year. Adding either
of those drugs to Bristol-Myers's two medicines will bring the annual price
of a three-drug regimen in Africa to about $865 to $965. If, instead,
Bristol-Myers's two drugs are combined with Viramune, a drug from Germany's
Boehringer-Ingelheim GmbH that costs about $438 a year, the annual price of
a three-drug combination will be $803.

Those prices are still slightly higher than an offer made in February by
drug-maker Cipla Ltd. of Bombay, India, to sell a different combination of
three AIDS drugs in Africa for $600. Suddenly, with the new round of price
cuts from Merck, Bristol-Myers, Cipla and another Indian company, Hetero
International Ltd., a pricing battle seems to be emerging in Africa. Indeed,
Bristol-Myers's new price for Zerit undercuts by $16 a year the price Cipla
is offering for its version of the same drug.

Some drug companies worry that selling at sharply reduced prices in Africa
may lead to a black market for the drugs in the U.S. But Bristol-Myers says
it isn't overly concerned about that at present.

In any case, it is unclear if the new prices will get to people in Africa
quickly, or at all, unless employers and governments in the region and
wealthy donors from abroad begin subsidizing some of the drugs' costs. "It's
pretty dramatic, a major, major step forward," says Harvard economist
Jeffrey Sachs of the new price reductions. But Mr. Sachs, who has been
aggressively lobbying the U.S. government and others to commit large
resources to the AIDS problem in Africa, adds: "The limiting factor is
international donor support to help buy these drugs at the discount and to
provide training to make these drugs effective."

Indeed, it isn't even clear whether many of the African nations are prepared
to take advantage of the new drug prices. The president of Botswana said
this week that the lowered prices may make it possible for his country,
using donations and its own funds, to begin offering drugs to those who want
them. But the government of South Africa, where four million people are
infected with HIV, has yet to meet with drug makers to discuss the discounts
offered last May. It had arranged for such a meeting for the end of this
month, but it was canceled because of scheduling conflicts. Meanwhile, South
African officials say they are skeptical of the drug makers' sincerity,
especially because 39 drug companies, including Bristol and Merck, are suing
the government to block it from buying generic versions of patented drugs.

In an interview, Ayanda Ntsaluba, director general of South Africa's health
ministry, said that while he doesn't "doubt the good intentions of Merck,"
he was "suspicious" of the recent offer because he first heard about it in
press reports rather than from the company.

Meanwhile, two drug companies -- Boehringer-Ingelheim and Roche Holding
AG -- that joined in the offer to reduce prices last May have been reluctant
to join Merck and Bristol-Myers in a new series of price reductions. John
Wecker, program coordinator for Boehringer-Ingelheim's drug-access program,
says the company's current annual price for Viramune represents a 90%
reduction from its price in the U.S. and the company doesn't plan further
cuts. But he says talks are under way to see if such cuts might be possible.

And while Roche was part of the group that promised to cut its drug prices
last May, it offered a set of reduced prices only recently. On Feb. 27,
Roche sent a letter to UNAIDS, the U.N. agency coordinating AIDS activities,
announcing "improved conditions" related to the cost of two of its AIDS
medicines, Viracept and Fortovase, to take effect March 1. It claims to have
cut the price in half for Fortovase and reduced the price of Viracept by
15%, but that reduction is only available as a rebate. In addition, those
prices, while lower than those charged in the U.S., are still way above what
is affordable in Africa or what Merck is charging for its similar drug,
Crixivan.


--------------------------------------------------------
- A posting from treatment-access@hivnet.ch

- To submit a posting, send to this address
- For anonymous postings, add the word "anon" to the subject line
- To join or leave this forum, add the word join or leave to the subject
line
- Browse previous postings or post new messages at:
  http://www.hivnet.ch:8000/topics/treatment-access/

- Reproduction welcomed, provided source and forum email address is quoted
- The forum is managed by Health & Development Networks (www.hdnet.org) on
behalf of the Fondation du Present (www.fdp.org)

The views expressed in this forum do not necessarily reflect those of HDN or
FdP, unless otherwise stated
--------------------------------------------------------

--
Adresse pour les messages destinés au forum E-MED:
<e-med@usa.healthnet.org>
Pour répondre à un message envoyer la réponse au forum
ou directement à l'auteur.
Pour toutes autres questions addresser vos messages à :
<owner-e-med@usa.healthnet.org>

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • [e-med] Sida: Baisse de prix pour deux antirétroviraux en Afrique, e-med <=