Reacting to the news that ViiV Healthcare and the Medicines Patent Pool have announced a voluntary license agreement to open up generic production and supply of CAB-LA in 90 countries, Mike Podmore, Director at STOPAIDS said:
“That this agreement between ViiV and the MPP will increase access to HIV prevention treatment for those in low- and middle-income countries is most welcome. However, the deal remains fundamentally limited in scope.
Many countries with manufacturing capacity are totally excluded from this agreement, particularly in Latin America and Asia. Furthermore, only allowing up to 3 companies worldwide to produce generic versions could limit the potential reduction in price that would lower cost as a barrier to access.
Viiv must urgently be transparent about its pricing of CAB-LA under this agreement, which must be priced in line with the current cost of oral PrEP which is about $360/year.
It must also broaden the agreement to include upper-middle income countries, who are facing rising HIV rates.
With over 1.5 million new HIV infections last year, over 1 million above UNAIDS’ targets, ViiV must act swiftly to help prevent new infections to get the global response back on track.”
- Administered as an injection every two months, long-acting Cabotegravir (CAB-LA) is the most effective form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for people at high risk of HIV.
- CAB-LA was approved for the prevention of HIV infection by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2021, and ViiV currently charges US$3,700 per vial in the US ($22,200 per person per year).
- Research from the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) has shown that generic manufacturers could produce this drug for around $2.60 per vial (less than $20 per person per year). Although ViiV has publicly said they would provide CAB-LA for their at-cost price in many lower-middle income countries, they have yet to announce the price.
- Annual cost of oral PrEP at $360/year. Source: https://www.contagionlive.com/view/how-to-price-injectable-prep-to-compete-with-generic-oral-prep
- UNAIDS targets available at their ‘In Danger’: Global AIDS Update 2022