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Victory! Colombian Government Cuts Price of Abbott's Lifesaving AIDS Drug Kaletra 55%, Says AHF
Date:5/11/2009

d improve access to lifesaving AIDS treatments in Mexico. As a result of that coalition's prolonged, multinational campaign to raise awareness about the high price charged by Abbott Laboratories Inc. for its key AIDS drug, Kaletra in Mexico, the company cut its price by twenty percent--from $4688.00 pesos MXN per patient per month to $3750.40 MXN. The new lower price was published for the first time in med-March on the website of CENSIDA, Mexico's National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS.

The Colombian organizations: Mesa de Organizaciones con Trabajo en VIH/SIDA, the Red Colombiana de Personas Viviendo con VIH o con SIDA, Mission Salud, and IFARMA requested a compulsory license for Kaletra from the Ministry of Commerce in 2008 and have been leading the push for the compulsory license and lower prices with assistance from AHF and Washington-based Essential Action. The Ministry of Commerce has requested the Ministry of Social Protection to rule whether or not Kaletra is a medication "in the public interest." This ruling is expected this week.

Abbott has long been the target of multinational protests and legal actions over the pricing of its AIDS drugs including Kaletra and Norvir. Over the past several years as many of Abbott's industry peers have significantly lowered the prices of their own lifesaving AIDS medicines on their own volition and in response to worldwide humanitarian need, Abbott has remained steadfast in its refusal to do so, or it has countered advocates' and governments' demands with only modest price reductions.

According to the website, www.aidsmeds.com, "Kaletra, a protease inhibitor (sold under the brand name Aluvia in some parts of the world), is actually two drugs combined into a single capsule: lopinavir and low doses of ritonavir (Norvir), another protease inhibitor manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. This is beca
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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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