Paying the price

Estimated worldwide infections: 57 370 577 on Wednesday May 19 2004.

United States President George W Bush promised $15-billion for the fight against HIV/Aids in developing countries over five years. But former Eli Lilly CEO Randall Tobias, who runs the president’s Aids emergency plan, said the money would be spent only on high-quality patented drugs from the giant pharmaceutical companies.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson this week announced a review process to allow generic companies to seek approval for their HIV/Aids pills from the US Food and Drug Administration. Thompson said the Food and Drug Administration’s approval would take between two and six weeks.—.