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Thursday, March 23, 2017
CAFOD condemns US attempts to bar access to cheap AIDS drugs
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¬†CAFOD says attempts by the United States government to force developing countries to use more expensive US approved AIDS drugs in return for aid are totally unacceptable. The agency claims that at a conference in Southern Africa this week, the US are trying to discredit cheaper generic drugs and block their use while promoting US approved drugs, which cost over four times the price. Head of CAFOD's HIV Support Section Monica Dolan said: "The Bush administration is deliberately putting up barriers to developing countries access to AIDS treatment. It's vital that countries have access to the most affordable and effective medicines available to fight the growing pandemic, however, the only ones to benefit from this move will be the US drug companies." CAFOD, together with 200 other organisations from around the world, have denounced the move in a letter to US Global AIDS coordinator Ambassador Randall Tobias. It condemns the US for trying to discredit the single pill AIDS treatment, know as Fixed-Dose Combination, (FDC) - which is available from as little as £78 per person per year. This form of treatment is recommended in World Heath Organisation (WHO) guidelines and several generic FDCs have met the Organisation's stringent international standards for drug quality, safety and efficacy. The same treatment from brand-name companies costs a minimum of £310 per person per year and must be taken in the less convenient form of six pills a day. Monica Dolan said: "This puts extra burden on those taking the pills and more importantly, money used to treat one person using brand named drugs could have treated four. Despite the ambitious goals of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS relief and promises of $15 billion for AIDS treatment only 300,000 of the 6 million people in the world's poorest nations are getting the drugs. This latest move by the US will only add to the crisis. "We want the US government to accept the WHO's internationally recognised drug quality standards and promote access to affordable medications."
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