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Words in the News
Friday 24 October 2003
Bill Clinton arranges low-cost HIV/AIDS drugs
Bill Clinton The former United States President, Bill Clinton, has made an arrangement with four drug companies to provide low-cost HIV and AIDS drugs to the developing world. The deal was worked out through the William J Clinton Presidential Foundation and reduces the price of a triple-drug regimen by more than two-thirds. Jane Standley reports:
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AIDS organisations have hailed the drug pricing deal as a breakthrough, with the potential to save millions of lives. The former American president, Bill Clinton, says he hopes as many as two million people will be on the medications by 2008. The deal not only reduces the cost of certain AIDS drugs by more than two thirds, but, its supporters say, it also gives poor countries the confidence that they can afford to treat their citizens in the long-term.

Bill Clinton's advisors worked with one South African company and three others from India, who make generic, or non-patented drugs, to broker the deal. The companies opened their financial records to the advisors to work out how costs could be cut, with the result that the price of a generic triple-drug regimen will cost less than forty American cents a day, as opposed to over a dollar and fifty cents for the same patented medicines. To pay for the drugs, the foundation also raised money from rich nations, including Ireland and Canada. Three African countries, Rwanda, Tanzania and Mozambique, along with several others in the Caribbean, have been working with the Clinton foundation to find cheaper AIDS treatments and have secured funds from the World Bank and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS to pay for them.

Jane Standley, BBC, New York

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drug pricing deal
business agreement on how much the drugs can be bought for
a breakthrough
a successful and important development
in the long-term
for a very long time
generic, or non-patented drugs
generic and non-patented drugs are terms used to describe drugs which are not registered and can therefore be copied without permission
to broker the deal
to finalise the arrangement
reduced, lowered
triple-drug regimen
a treatment plan where three drugs are taken together
secured funds
been given money
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