Patients protest delay in ordering anti-retrovirals

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- People living with HIV/AIDS in Addis Ababa Sunday threatened to stage a protest march in the Ethiopian capital to publicly express disappointment over the government's delay in providing medicines that prolong the lives of persons living with the deadly virus.
Taddesse Aynalem, president of their organisation known as Dawn of Hope, told PANA "it is time for us to go out in the streets of Addis and make our grievances publicly known.
" He said until recently, their association had not spoken due to the high cost of the medicines, which many patients could not afford.
But Tanddesse said every person affected by the virus deserved the medicine and the government should act swiftly to import the drugs following recent discussions with importers of pharmaceutical products.
The government asked the firms to start importing the cheaper anti-retroviral drugs that can prolong the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS.
Already, four local companies have expressed interest in importing the drugs and have submitted proposals to the Ministry of Health in Addis Ababa.
The original drugs cost about 100 US dollars per month per patient, but the imported version is expected to have a significant price reduction.

29 july 2001 10:14:00




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