Bristol Myers Squibb to cut price of two HIV drugs for children

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Bristol Myers Squibb announced yesterday that is is cutting the cost of its paediatric formulations of two drugs – stavudine (Zerit) and didanosine (Videx) – in least developed countries.

The cost of stavudine will fall by 44% to 85 cents a day and didanosine by 90% to 15 cents per day. A generic formulation of didanosine was approved for use by the PEPFAR programme earlier this year by the United States' Food and Drug Administration.

Bristol Myers Squibb also announced that it is partnering with Baylor College, Houston, to send more than 250 paediatricians to countries severely affected by AIDS in order to spread expertise in the treatment of children. The partnership will establish a Paediatric AIDS Corps that will recruit paediatricians for one to two year attachments.

New clinical centres of excellence will also be established in Burkina Faso, Uganda and two other countries still to be selected. Baylor College already operates sites in Romania, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho.