Issue brief |

Two Cipla AIDS Drugs Removed from WHO Prequalification List

In 2001, the United Nations started a pilot project to assess the quality of malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS pharmaceutical products that the UN agencies (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNAIDS, supported by the World Bank) purchase. Managed by the World Health Organization, the Prequalification Project assesses essential medicines and their production sites worldwide based on dossiers submitted by drug manufacturers.

The WHO Prequalification Project has so far assessed more than 90 drugs, over half of these generics. The existence of an international system of prequalified products has dramatically increased access to essential medicines, particularly antiretroviral drugs, in developing countries. The list is updated regularly and it provides vital guidance for governments in procuring essential drugs which meet internationally-agreed quality standards.

On May 27th 2004, the WHO removed two products from its prequalification list. The products are two antiretroviral medicines manufactured by the Indian company Cipla: lamivudine (3TC) 150 mg tablet (LAMIVIR®), and the fixed dose combination lamivudine (3TC) 150mg/zidovudine (AZT) 300mg tablet (DUOVIR®).