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Allotting AIDS Drugs


To the Editor:

Re "How to Distribute AIDS Drugs," by Carol Bellamy (Op-Ed, March 26): Unicef's offer to take the lead in setting up a global procurement and distribution system for AIDS drugs is a significant step in the fight against AIDS.

Unicef has the expertise to coordinate the bulk purchase and quality certification of AIDS drugs, including generics, and to ensure equitable distribution. The World Health Organization must also assist, as it has been mandated, by advising countries on how to overcome patent and trade barriers hampering drug access.

But Unicef and the World Health Organization, like all United Nations agencies, are only as strong as their donor and member states make them. Wealthy nations as well as poor countries facing the AIDS pandemic must now step forward to provide both the financial commitment and political will necessary to turn this plan into a reality.


Executive Director

Doctors Without Borders

New York, March 27, 2001


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Information in this article was accurate in March 31, 2001. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.