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September 18, 2009

Countries pay widely varying prices for ARVs

"Many countries struggle to pay for antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for all those who need them, but a new study has found that some nations are paying up to three times more for the life-prolonging medicines than others with similar HIV prevalence and income levels.

"In 2007 Nigeria paid US$334 per patient per year for a combination of first-line ARVs that cost Congo only US$95. Both are low-income countries, but Nigeria has a higher HIV prevalence of 3.1 percent, compared to Congo's 1.2 percent.

"A working paper released last week by the AIDS2031 project, which draws on expertise from around the world to consider the most effective long-term responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, looks at why the prices of ARVs vary so widely from one country to another, and what can be done to improve affordability."

Read more in IRIN, September 9, 2009.