Break­through in HIV treat­ment pric­ing

Public Sector Manager - - Contents -

A ground-break­ing pric­ing agree­ment will fast-track the avail­abil­ity of the first af­ford­able, generic, sin­glepill HIV treat­ment

Aground-break­ing pric­ing agree­ment has been reached that will fast-track the avail­abil­ity of the first af­ford­able, generic, sin­glepill HIV treat­ment reg­i­men con­tain­ing Do­lute­gravir.

Min­is­ter of Health Aaron Mot­soaledi, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions and agen­cies, reached the pric­ing agree­ment re­cently.

The new fixed-dose com­bi­na­tion will be avail­able to low and mid­dlein­come coun­tries at a re­duced price of US$75 per per­son, per year.

The large vol­umes of an­tiretro­vi­rals pur­chased by South Africa were used to lever­age the de­crease in pric­ing that will ben­e­fit all low- and mid­dlein­come coun­tries.

Ac­cel­er­at­ing treat­ment

The agree­ment is ex­pected to ac­cel­er­ate treat­ment roll­out as part of global ef­forts to reach all 36.7 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing with HIV with high-qual­ity an­tiretro­vi­ral therapy.

The an­nounce­ment will have pro­found im­pli­ca­tions for the HIV treat­ment pro­gramme in South Africa's pub­lic health sec­tor.

The HIV pro­gramme has grown from 923 000 pa­tients on treat­ment in

2009 to 3.9 mil­lion pa­tients on treat­ment by the end of Au­gust 2017.

In Septem­ber 2016, the Min­is­ter an­nounced the roll­out of the test and treat ini­tia­tive with the aim to have six mil­lion HIV-pos­i­tive pa­tients on treat­ment by 2022.

Ben­e­fits for pa­tients

South Africa will in­tro­duce the new fixed-dose com­bi­na­tion of three drugs, Teno­fovir, Lamivu­dine and Do­lute­gravir (TLD) in April 2018. It is pro­jected that this new reg­i­men, at the price an­nounced, will save South Africa more than R11 bil­lion over the next six years.

Apart from the fi­nan­cial sav­ings, which will de­crease pres­sure on the na­tional fis­cus, its in­tro­duc­tion will also have sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits for pa­tients.

Do­lute­gravir is a highly ef­fec­tive an­tiretro­vi­ral, which is well tol­er­ated by pa­tients and has fewer side ef­fects.

Pa­tients are, there­fore, more likely to be ad­her­ent and more likely to be vi­rally sup­pressed – which means that they are not likely to trans­mit the virus to oth­ers.

Mas­sive sav­ings

“I am ex­cited about this in­no­va­tive agree­ment which will al­low the govern­ment of South Africa to ac­cel­er­ate the in­tro­duc­tion of the Do­lute­gravir-based fixed-dose com­bi­na­tion which will greatly ben­e­fit our pa­tients due to its su­pe­rior ther­a­peu­tic qual­i­ties,” said Min­is­ter Mot­soaledi.

“The con­sid­er­able price re­duc­tions could yield sav­ings of up to R11.7 bil­lion over the next six years for us, which means that we can ini­ti­ate ad­di­tional pa­tients on treat­ment with the same amount of re­sources. Ramp­ing up treat­ment with good vi­ral sup­pres­sion will en­able us to reach HIV epi­demic con­trol more quickly. We are aim­ing at launch­ing the new ten­der in April 2018,” said the Min­is­ter.

The South African Govern­ment to­gether with the Govern­ment of Kenya, in part­ner­ship with the Clin­ton Health Ac­cess Ini­tia­tive, the Joint United Na­tions Pro­gramme on HIV/AIDS, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion, UNITAID, the United King­dom's Depart­ment for In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment, the United States Pres­i­dent's Emer­gency Plan for AIDSRelief, the US Agency for In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and Malaria, worked on the pric­ing agree­ment.

South Africa's com­mit­ment to make TLD avail­able to pa­tients was key to se­cur­ing the pric­ing agree­ment.

Source: SAnews

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