Merck & Co has cut the price of efavirenz 600mg tablets (Stocrin) for developing countries that qualify for its access programme, the company announced yesterday.
It is the second price cut in a year, and crucially, it will make the branded version of efavirenz cheaper than a generic import in Thailand, where a compulsory license was recently issued to allow importation of efavirenz from India.
For least developed countries and medium human development index countries with an adult HIV prevalence of 1% or more, the price of Stocrin 600mg tablets is being reduced by 14.5%, to US$0.65 a day ($237.25 a year).
In medium HDI countries with an HIV prevalence of less than 1% the price of Stocrin is being reduced by 5.8%, to US$1.80 a day ($657 a year).
A company spokesman said that the company was able to cut the price as a result of identifying further manufacturing efficiencies.
The company says that as a result of its differential pricing policy around 500,000 patients in 76 developing countries were receiving Stocrin as part of their antiretroviral regimen.