Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The committee is expected to take a decision on the pricing by this month end, according to the Chairman and Managing Director, Hetero Drugs Limited, B. Parthasaradhi Reddy. Hetero Drugs Ltd. is one of the companies with whom the committee is negotiating to bring down the prices. It is also one of the four companies chosen by the Clinton Research Foundation to place bulk orders to supply HIV/AIDS drugs to four African and nine Caribbean countries to benefit about two million people during the next five years.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Mr.Reddy said that the agreement with the Clinton Research Foundation covers lowering of fixed dose combination from $ 300 to $ 139 per year. He said that Hetero Drugs would be meeting a major portion (about 40-50 per cent) of supplies to the African and Caribbean countries in the form of bulk drugs and formulations. He said that initially anti-AIDS drugs would be supplied to 1 lakh people, 3,75,000 people by next year and to about two million people by 2007.
He said that Hetero had delivered a range of 18 anti-retroviral drugs at Indian prices. It is a range of three drug combinations nevirapine+lamivudine+stavudine- were available at an affordable price in India. He said that Hetero had enabled progressive reduction of prices in the Indian market over the years. For example, its combination of drugs cost about Rs.1380 per month (approximately $29.35) as against $ 591 for the same combination in the West.
He said that as part of the company's vision for greater cause to humanitarianism, it had offered anti-AIDS drugs at extremely low prices to UNAIDS, WHO, Medicine Sans Frontiers and Asphen Pharma Care, South Africa. He said that Hetero was the first Indian company to supply to the Brazilian Government to benefit half a million people. Besides Brazil, it was also supplying to several other developing countries, including Argentina and Mexico. He urged the Union Government to remove customs duty and sales tax on anti-AIDS drugs to bring down their cost by another 30 to 40 per cent.
Mr. Reddy said that his company, which achieved a turnover of Rs.520 crores, is planning to supply anti-HIV drugs free of cost to a section of pregnant women to prevent mother-to-child transmission in Andhra Pradesh. The modalities for the scheme would be worked out in consultation with the State Government, he added.
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