New York

24 October 2003

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on agreement between Clinton Foundation and antiretroviral AIDS drug manufacturers

The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the agreement reached between the Clinton Foundation and four drug manufacturers in developing countries to cut the price of antiretroviral AIDS drugs in half. These price reductions will not only make HIV treatment more affordable to many of those who could previously not afford them; they should also act as a further incentive for Governments, particularly in countries heavily affected by HIV/AIDS, to establish national treatment plans as part of their comprehensive prevention and care emergency strategies.

The agreement should be seen in the broader context of global action against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, one of the greatest threats of our time. The Secretary-General hopes the initiative will encourage other pharmaceutical manufacturers to review their pricing policies and evaluate what further price reductions they can make to render these vital medicines more accessible to those who need them most. He trusts synergy will be created between this initiative and existing international efforts such as President Bush's Emergency AIDS Plan, the WHO and UNAIDS initiative to bring treatment to 3 million people by 2005, and of course, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.