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TAC cautious about new ARV development

Resource type: News

Eye Witness News |

The Treatment Action Campaign is an Atlantic grantee.

by Nathan Adams

The Treatment Action Campaign says it is cautiously optimistic about South Africa producing its own anti-retroviral medication.

The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research says at least one of the active ingredients used in the production of ARVs can be manufactured locally. Currently, South Africa imports the active ingredients used to make the drugs and pays international prices.

But the CSIR’s Dr Moira Bode says new technology has been developed here that will allow scientists to produce at least one of the active elements.

The TAC’s Rebecca Hodes says the lobby group will wait and see if the development does end up benefitting HIV and Aids patients.

“Often companies come up with things like this and they have a lot of publicity but at the end of the day the promises is [sic] empty due to the vast expense,” says Hodes.

She says the potential to exploit Aids patients still exists even if South Africa produces its own ARVs.

“How much would this company sell the active ingredients for? So the potential there for exploiting the public by really hiking up the prices is very clear and present.”

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TAC, Treatment Action Campaign