A lifeline to treatment: the role of Indian generic manufacturers in supplying antiretroviral medicines to developing countries
Authors: Brenda Waning, Ellen Diedrichsen, Suerie Moon
AIDS treatment has seen progress in recent years, with about four million people starting treatment between 2003 and 2008, due largely to India's ability to produce low-cost quality medicines.
Indian-produced generic antiretrovirals (AIDS drugs) comprised 87 per cent of ARV purchase volumes in 2008. In 2008, Indian-produced generics accounted for 91 per cent of paediatric ARV volumes.
A new report released by the Journal of the International AIDS Society entitled, "A lifeline to treatment: the role of Indian generic manufacturers in supplying antiretroviral medicines to developing countries" concludes that Indian generic manufacturers have supplied more than 80% of donor-funded AIDS medicines to developing countries in the last seven years. It also explains that the TRIPS agreement - which has bound India to apply product patents since 2005 - has already begun to curtail the country's ability to produce low-cost generic versions of newer medicines. Trade agreements being currently discussed may further reduce India's vital role as provider of life-saving treatments.