>> It is the grimmest of ironies, the countries where the HIV epidemic is most prevalent are generally those that cannot afford the most effective treatments on the market. But that could be set to change under a new deal being announced at the UN General Assembly on Thursday.>> Now innovation on behalf of the poor often isn't well-funded.
>> With a backing of a multi-million dollar guarantee from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, two Indian companies will provide state of the art AIDS drugs to 92 African and other low and middle income countries. They have agreed to cap prices at an average of $75 per patient for a year's supply, as Reuters Kate Kelland can exclusively reveal.
>> These drugs are what used to be called second line drugs. They are the latest generation, combination pills. They're more effective and they have fewer side effects. But usually, they're far too expensive for countries in Africa and other poorer countries to afford them.>> The Gates guarantee gives Milan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma confidence to churn out millions of combination pills containing dolutegravir, a so called integrase inhibitor that avoids drug resistance.
>> Drug resistance is a growing problem in the HIV epidemic and this deal is designed to avert that to some extent by getting people to switch to the newer drugs and stop overusing the first line therapies.>> Health ministries will be able to buy the treatment, known as TLD, from next year and the price is a massive decrease on what you'd pay for such treatments elsewhere.
Seventy-five dollars is less than the cost of one day's supply of dolutegravir combination in the US. Whilst the impact of this deal, the largest of its kind in global health, may well be huge, it is not the panacea for the HIV epidemic.>> This isn't the solution, this fits into a package of measures that need to keep evolving to keep up with this growing epidemic.
We have two million new infections of HIV every year, so the patient population is growing. The solution is to be a package of several measures that include new drugs, new ways of delivering those drugs, and new pricing agreements.