GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE: GSK NYSE: GSK), a British based pharmaceutical, biological, and healthcare company, announced Wednesday its decision to cut down the cost of HIV drugs in developing countries.
The most significant decrease (almost 40% price reduction) will affect its antiretroviral Ziagen.
Ziagen, the trade name for Abacavir (ABC) is a nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) used to treat HIV and AIDS. It has been well tolerated: the main side effect is hypersensitivity, which can be severe and, rarely, fatal. Genetic testing can indicate whether an individual will be hypersensitive; over 90% of patients can safely take abacavir. After the price reduction it will cost about $15 per pack, or about 50 cents daily.
The company is also going to reduce prices for Lexiva by 20% to $3.35 daily. Lexiva is a pro-drug of the protease inhibitor and antiretroviral drug amprenavir.
Actually the reduction is possible due to improved manufacturing and less expensive raw ingredients used to produce the drugs.
On January 15, it was reported that the Russian government began to develop sanctions against several officials at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)