HIV :: Boehringer Ingelheim’s patent rights are no obstacle to access to ARV drugs in developing countries

On the occasion of World Aids Day 2006 Boehringer Ingelheim stated that its patent rights to Viramune (nevirapine) do not prevent access to this medication in low income countries.

The company has granted out 7 voluntary licences so far for generic production of nevirapine products in developing countries. Boehringer Ingelheim remains open to further initiatives of pharmaceutical companies producing generics in developing countries.

In addition to the well-established Boehringer Ingelheim programmes, like the Viramune? Donation Program, the reduced pricing schemes for chronic Viramune? therapy in developing countries, the granting of voluntary licences and the commitment to new HIV drug development, and further philanthropic initiatives in developing countries, the company made this clear as an additional step to help provide access to life-saving therapy for patients in need in developing countries.

Donating to prevent further spread of HIV
Since 2000 Boehringer Ingelheim has given free access to single-dose Viramune? (nevirapine), to be used alone or in combination with other drugs, to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the HI virus during birth.* The company is currently donating the product to 59 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. In total more than 885, 000 mother and child doses were supplied free of charge so far.

Speeding up access through voluntary licences
To increase access to generic versions of nevirapine, Boehringer Ingelheim has in the meantime given out seven voluntary licenses to manufacture and market the drug to companies in South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya to ensure supply for sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt.

Reducing the price for Viramune?
A further measure to enable access to HIV drug treatment has been to reduce the price for Viramune? in developing countries considerably. Boehringer Ingelheim as a founder partner of the Accelerating Access Initiative (AAI) offers developing countries considerable discount rates.

Providing new hope through new treatments
After making available the first non-nucleoside transcriptase inhibitor Viramune? in 1996, Boehringer Ingelheim provides patients and the medical profession with the novel protease inhibitor Aptivus? for HIV-positive patients with reduced susceptibility to currently available anti-HIV treatments. There are also further anti-viral substances in clinical development at Boehringer Ingelheim.

In all HIV research activities of Boehringer Ingelheim special care is given to paediatric indications. Viramune? is registered in most countries for use in children. For Aptivus? clinical trials in children are underway.

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