Caricom heads interested in New GPC's anti-retrovirals - Jagdeo
Stabroek News
December 2, 2003

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Officials of the New GPC Inc are expected to travel to some Caricom countries soon, where they will provide samples of the company's anti-retroviral drugs.

This is according to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, which quoted President Bharrat Jagdeo as saying that Caribbean Heads had shown a "keen interest" in the offer of anti-retrovirals from Guyana at considerably reduced prices. The release said that this was communicated to Jagdeo at the Caricom Special Meeting, which he attended in St Lucia on November 13 and 14.

"All the Heads are very interested. So we now have to follow up with their health ministers," GINA quoted the President as saying at a news conference last week. He added that the issue might be one of quality because the large companies are not going to be happy that Caricom could undercut them and noted that some of the countries might want to test the drugs themselves.

GINA quoted the current prices for the drugs as US$54 per annum per patient for mono-therapy and below US$195 per annum for triple-therapy. It added that these costs would be further reduced if the New GPC were successful in selling the treatment in Caricom.

The drugs had first been piloted through the Genito-Urinary Medicine Clinic and GINA said that this year their use was extended to all regional hospitals and health centres. It is not known what percentage of HIV positive people in Guyana has actually been accessing this treatment.