Crucial Issue of the Availability of Kaletra
Thailand is one of the few countries that has committed itself to offering free HIV treatment to all those who need it. But right now the country has only a budget for a limited number of patients.
In January, the Thai ministry of health issued a compulsory license allowing the production or import of a more affordable generic version of the key second line AIDS drug, Kaletra. In response its manufacturer, pharmaceutical company Abbott, announced in March it would not market seven new drugs in the country, including Aluvia (the formulation of Kaletra that does not require refrigeration). A month later Abbott said it would more than halve the price of Kaletra/Aluvia in low and middle income countries but would not register Aluvia in Thailand.
The consequences of this move are disastrous for many people with HIV, in Thailand and potentially around the world.