SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON HIV TREATMENT
BETWEEN CLINTON FOUNDATION, DRUG MANUFACTURERS;
HOPES MORE COMPANIES WILL FOLLOW
NEW YORK, 24 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the agreement on access to HIV treatment between the Clinton Foundation and drug manufacturers in developing countries:
The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the agreement reached between the Clinton Foundation and four drug manufacturers in developing countries to cut the price of antiretroviral AIDS drugs in half. These price reductions will not only make HIV treatment more affordable to many of those who could previously not afford them; they should also act as a further incentive for governments, particularly in countries heavily affected by HIV/AIDS, to establish national treatment plans as part of their comprehensive prevention and care emergency strategies.
The agreement should be seen in the broader context of global action against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, one of the greatest threats of our time. The Secretary-General hopes the initiative will encourage other pharmaceutical manufacturers to review their pricing policies and evaluate what further price reductions they can make to render these vital medicines more accessible to those who need them most. He trusts synergy will be created between this initiative and existing international efforts such as President Bush’s Emergency AIDS Plan, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) initiative to bring treatment to 3 million people by 2005, and of course, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
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