News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Cost price drugs for developing countries are found in Belgian pharmacies

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 12 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:794
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    The pharmaceutical industry's programme of sending HIV/AIDS drugs to Africa at preferential prices has been undermined by unscrupulous traders reimporting the cheap drugs to Europe for sale at full price, it emerged last week.

    An investigation by Belgian customs authorities found that at least three million doses of GlaxoSmithKline's Combivir (zidovudine)—earmarked for sale in Africa at about £0.50 (€ 0.80; $0.78) per dose—have found their way onto European pharmacists' shelves, where they sell for about £3.80 (£6.00; $5.94) per dose. Quantities of GlaxoSmithKline's antiretroviral drugs Epivir (lamivudine) and Trizivir (abacavir) have also been illegally diverted back to Europe.

    The drugs were supposed to go to HIV/AIDS …

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