Trends and Economic Stress: A Challenge to Universal Access to Antiretroviral Treatment in India

Author(s): P. Dhamija, D. Bansal, B. Medhi

Journal Name: Current HIV Research

Volume 7 , Issue 4 , 2009

Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor


The prospects for expanded access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-poor settings have greatly improved as a result of global and national efforts to reduce the cost of antiretroviral drugs (ARV), growing availability of cheaper generics, and increased financing available from the Global Funds like Medicines Sans Frontieres. Indian health set-up provides drugs free-of-cost to HIV infected patients through government network and also through open-market to those who intend to have personalized care. Post-2005, implementation of WTO agreement on TRIPS is expected to have a significant impact on pricing and availability of generic ARV. The study has been planned to explore the trends and gaps in availability & accessibility of ARV in India. The trends in per-patient-per-year (PPPY) cost of individual ARV and treatment regimes were also explored. The epidemiological data demonstrated stabilization of the epidemic in India. Most ARV are available in India by the generic manufacturers with a median drug lag period of 2.05 years (Range 0.75- 6.51 years). There is a significant price difference in drugs available from generic and originator companies. Prices for patented and generic ARV in India reflect price negotiations that have taken place since the introduction of drugs in the country, still most of the ARVs are available at a much higher cost in the market [median 2.6 times (range 1-7)]. The perpatient per year (PPPY) cost of providing first-line regime in 2008 has decreased 2.75 times from that in 2003. The analysis shows the stabilization of prices of all drugs after 2006.HIV spending in India has seen a growth of 26 percent and 28 percent in 2005-06 and 2006-07 respectively. Still, the expected expenditure to cover the whole patient population needing therapy is considerably higher than the actual expenditure incurred for providing ARV. Despite the price reductions and availability of ARV at a lower cost through agencies like MSF, there is a large gap in the expenditure incurred and patient population covered. These trends may foreshadow future AIDS treatment cost trends in the country as more people start treatment, AIDS patients live longer and move from first-line to second and third-line treatment, AIDS treatment becomes more complex, generic competition emerges, and newer patented drugs become available.

Keywords: Drug lag, ARV, cost PPPY, HIV trends

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2009
Page: [410 - 417]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/157016209788680534
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 3