NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pfizer, the world's leading drugmaker,
will unveil a plan Friday to give away a $50 million 2-year
supply of its expensive AIDS-related medicine, Diflucan, to
South Africa, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Activists have pressured pharmaceutical companies to respond to
the growing sub-Saharan Africa AIDS crisis by dropping prices
on AIDS medications, the Journal said.
Pfizer's offer comes as the United Nations and World Health
Organization reported that sub-Saharan Africa saw 3.8 million
new HIV infections this year, bringing the total number of
people with HIV in the region, the hardest-hit in the world, to
25.3 million. Under the deal, Pfizer will provide Diflucan, an
agent that fights fungal infections, without charge to treat
people with cryptococcal meningitis as well as an infection of
the esophagus caused by Candida, which affects 20% to 40% of
all AIDS patients.