Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Roche to help S.Africa produce Anti-Hiv Rx

Today Yahoo! news reported:

BASEL, Switzerland – Roche Holding AG said Friday it will help
three African companies to produce one of its anti- HIV drugs.

Roche will provide the companies — Aspen Pharmacare in South Africa, and
Cosmos Ltd. and Universal Corp. Ltd. in Kenya — with the technical assistance
necessary to produce saquinavir, the active ingredient in the Swiss-based
 pharmaceutical's Invirase treatment.

The three companies will produce the drug in Africa and will be allowed to
export it to other developing countries around the world.

"It is both encouraging and heartening that local African manufacturers are
taking steps to increase their capacity to produce and provide HIV medicines
locally," said Lembit Rago, a medicine expert at the World Health Organization.

Roche said the program allowing production of saquinavir would eventually
extend to 25 companies in 14 countries. The drug is used to treat patients who
have developed a resistance to initial anti-HIV therapies.

The company said it does not file for patent rights in the world's poorest
countries. The move, it added, would not affect its pricing policy allowing least
developed countries to buy anti-HIV protease inhibitors at cost.


Written by thd

September 27, 2006 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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