NAIROBI – The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25m have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said.
The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa.
“The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper,” said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating Aids, tuberculosis or malaria.
He described the drug as “the most effective HIV treatment currently on the market.”
A box of 30 pills of DTG, which lasts a month, costs between $25 and $50. The generic version only costs $4.
Kenya has already started rolling out the new drug, which will initially be provided for free to 27,000 people living with HIV