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Pharmaceutical giant offers AIDS related antifungal drug free to 50 countries

Diflucan Partnership seems to be the latest mantra of Pfizer. The pharmaceutical giant has announced that it will supply free antifungal drug to 50 countries hardest hit by the AIDS virus. The decision by the Pfizer comes close on the heels of the South African Government winning a landmark case against pharmaceutical companies. In an announcement on Wednesday Pfizer said AIDS related antifungal drug Diflucan will be given free of cost to battle HIV through a programe to be coordinated by World Health Organization and the United Nations.

"Together with our partners in the United Nations and the WHO, we now have a framework to offer Diflucan to the least-developed nations targeted by the UN and the WHO as the most affected by the AIDS crisis", Dr.Henry McKinnell, CEO of Pfizer, told reporters at a press conference.

Many patients stricken with AIDS develop complication of fungal origin. Two common conditions are esophageal candidiasis and cryptococcal meningitis. Flucanazole, commerically available as Diflucan is used to treat these conditions.

Representatives of Pfizer Inc. said they do not know how much the expanded 50-nation program would cost. However, they said that expenses of the project, called the Diflucan Partnership, would include drug manufacturing, shipping, transportation, medical training and patient education.

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