Global Fund secures deal to slash HIV treatment price

Wednesday August 30 2023

A woman posing her antiretroviral drugs. PHOTO | AFP


The Global Fund announced Wednesday a deal with generic pharmaceutical manufacturers to significantly slash the price of a cutting-edge HIV drug, in a move it said would save lives.

The Global Fund, a partnership set up in 2002 to battle AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, said the agreement would make it possible to provide the advanced pill known as TLD for under $45 per person per year.

"This improved pricing -- a 25-percent reduction -- will allow governments in resource-limited settings to expand access to critical HIV services," it said in a statement.

Read: Human trials proceeding in Africa towards potential anti-HIV vaccine

The three-in-one pill bands together the drugs tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, lamivudine and dolutegravir.

"The World Health Organization has recommended it as the preferred first-line HIV treatment for adults and adolescents, since it rapidly suppresses the virus that causes AIDS, has fewer side effects and is easy to take," the statement pointed out.


"The countries most affected by HIV face enormous fiscal constraints, and there are still millions of people who are HIV-positive who don't have access to quality treatment," Global Fund Chief Peter Sands said in the statement.

"Reduced pricing for TLD means governments and other implementers of Global Fund grants can expand treatment programmes and invest more in prevention, saving more lives and reducing new infections."

Wednesday's announcement comes after the Global Fund, along with UNAIDS, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners in 2017 secured licensing agreements ensuring that TLD could be made available in low- and middle-income countries for up to $75 per person per year -- at the time an unprecedented pricing level.

Thanks to that deal, around 19 million more people living with HIV in resource-constrained settings are today receiving TLD, according to the Clinton Health Access Initiative.