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Canadian Company Receives Final Tender Approval From Rwanda For Vital AIDS Drug

TORONTO, May 7 /PRNewswire/ - Apotex Inc., Canada's largest generic pharmaceutical company has successfully bid and been awarded a tender from the Rwandan Government for the life saving triple combination AIDS drug "Apo Triavir". Apotex is the first company to provide this medicine to Africa under the provisions of the Canadian Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR).

The CAMR provides a mechanism for developing countries to address critical healthcare needs by importing less expensive generic versions of patented drugs. Following the process it has taken Apotex over three years to get to this point where a drug can go to thousands in Africa.

Apotex is the only company in Canada to have worked through the complicated CAMR process. The Generic Pharmaceutical Industry has recommended that the Federal Government simplify the process of getting urgently needed drugs to Africa.

Apo Triavir is a combination of 300 mg Zidovudine, 150 mg Lamivudine and 200 mg Nevirapine and was evaluated and approved under the provision of the CAMR by Health Canada. TriAvir fully conforms to all Health Canada regulations and requirements for marketing a drug in the Canadian healthcare system. As per Canadian regulations, the product can only be exported to eligible countries under CAMR and cannot be sold in Canada until the relevant patents expire.

Apotex is producing Apo Triavir at cost, with the price quoted in the Tender at 19.5 cents (US) per tablet. The three separate AIDS brand products would cost around $6.00 per dose if bought individually.

"If other critical medicines are to go to Africa in a reasonable timeframe, the Federal Government must change the CAMR Legislation. CAMR is unworkable as it now stands. Apotex decided to do this because it was the right thing to do for the people dying from AIDS in Africa," stated Jack Kay, Apotex President and COO.

The Apotex Group has 6,000 employees in Canada and exports close to 300 quality lower cost medicines to 115 countries. It is the # 1 pharmaceutical company in Canada for R&D with planned expenditures of $2 Billion over the next 10 years.

SOURCE Apotex Inc.
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