For Visceral Leishmaniasis, drug supply and cost remain a major barrier to access to treatments
This issue 1 of DNDi Outlook discusses drug supply and cost for Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL).VL affects the most impoverished living in the most remote areas, inexorably leading to further destitution and death; if not treated, the disease mortality is 100%. New cost-effective treatments have been developed for the management of VL in east Africa and South Asia. Although cost-effective treatments are available, most afflicted patients cannot afford them, and strategies including relatively expensive drugs such as AmBisome are not accessible to most individuals unless governments, manufacturers and donors are willing to subsidize these treatments. Importantly, significant reductions in the price of AmBisome and miltefosine would also encourage Control Programs and implementers to move towards effective and safe treatments, including AmBisome-based treatments. It was concluded that for VL, drug supply and cost remain a major barrier to access to treatments and the following questions were raised: Why are we waiting to strengthen our partnerships with manufacturers and further secure continuous supply of these drugs at a preferential price for the public sector? Why are we waiting to treat VL patients? The total drug cost to treat 100,000 VL patients with new treatments amounts to less than US$ 8 million per year. It was pointed out that the cost projections on drug costs for these new treatments show that they are affordable for governments and donors, provided that manufacturers make a further commitment to preferential pricing. It was suggested that changes in drug pricing could significantly improve affordability; by offering better preferential pricing, manufacturers can play a fundamental role in making control activities affordable.
DNDi. For Visceral Leishmaniasis, drug supply and cost remain a major barrier to access to treatments. DNDi Outlook (2010) 1: 4 pp.