Russia needs $1.5bn to treat AIDS infected people

Russia will need about $1.5bn on treatment of HIV and AIDS infected people, if it continues buying necessary medicines at market prices. This is more than the whole annual budget of the Russian Health Ministry, the UN Secretary General representative for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe declared at a news conference in Moscow today.

He noted that Russia should initiate negotiations with the world's largest pharmaceutical companies on decreasing prices of antiretroviral medicines. Another way out is to start purchasing generic medicines produced in India and China, he added. Moreover, he believes that Russia is able to produce antiretroviral medicines developed by its own pharmaceutical industry.

In his turn, Academician Vadim Pokrovsky, the head of the Russian federal center for fighting AIDS, said that Indian and Chinese antiretroviral medicines had not been certified by Russia, since legal questions of their use in Russia had not been settled yet.

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