Reacting to the news that the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has signed sublicences with Aurobindo, Cipla and Viatris to produce generic versions of ViiV Healthcare’s long-acting HIV prevention medicine CAB-LA, Mike Podmore, Director of STOPAIDS said:
“Political and financial support for Unitaid continues to deliver progress, with the MPP’s latest sublicensing agreements a positive step forward to increasing access to long-acting HIV prevention medicine.
There is, however, a lot further to go. Supplying just 90 countries at a time when many upper-middle-income nations are seeing rising HIV rates is short-sighted and an unnecessary limitation.
What’s more there are many countries with manufacturing capacity that are totally excluded from this agreement, particularly in Latin America.
Given this agreement is limited to just three generic manufacturers, who may take years to make their versions commercially available, ViiV will effectively maintain a monopoly on long-acting PrEP for some time. Once these generics are available, there will still be limited competition which will fail to lower prices as far as needed. Meanwhile, we still have no transparency on the pricing of CAB-LA.
Whilst we wait for generic production to begin, it is crucial that ViiV expands production and commits to supplying CAB-LA in low- and middle- income countries at a price as close as possible to the current cost of Oral PrEP.
We must recognise the truth: the HIV response is in danger. We cannot accept the current reality that there is an AIDS-related death every minute and we mustn’t accept new HIV transmissions at three times above global targets.
Ultimately, we will only end AIDS and new HIV transmissions with fair, affordable access to prevention medication for everyone, everywhere.”
- ViiV Healthcare is a subsidiary of GSK, you can read the press release of the announcement here: https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/media/press-releases/medicines-patent-pool-signs-sublicences-with-aurobindo-cipla-and-viatris-to-produce-generic-versions-of-viiv-healthcare-s-innovative-long-acting-hiv-prevention-medicine/
- 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
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