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Cipla holds talks with mining giant to supply AIDS drugs for South African workers

Indian pharmaceutical giant Cipla is holding talks with London based mining giant, Anglo American for supplying AIDS drugs to South African workers. About 11% of South African population is HIV positive, totaling around 4.7 million people, giving it the dubious distinction of being the country with the maximum number of HIV positive people in the world.

The HIV scourge is sure to have a devastating effect on the economy, and research has shown that providing workers with drugs is cheaper than paying for absenteeism, loss of productivity, hospitalization, funerals and replacing and retraining staff.

However the government of South Africa has said it would be impossible for it to provide free HIV drugs through public health system. This has forced the government to talk to pharmaceutical companies that can supply cheap drugs to combat the dreaded virus.

As a part of this process the government is talking with Cipla to examine the feasibility of supplying cheap AIDS drugs for its people.

Though AIDS activists have welcomed the move they say other companies must take the cue from cipla and follow suit.

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