VIETNAM IN GENERIC ARVS EXPORT PLAN
A new joint venture between Vietnam's government and German generics manufacturer Stada could boost local exports of ARVs. The generics will be used to meet domestic demand with some 3,500 patients set to access treatment this year but exports could target African and other Asian countries in the near term.
Vietnam currently has around 93,000 HIV/AIDS sufferers, with annual treatment costs reportedly the lowest level in Asia, at an estimated at US$330. The export plans could worry some patent holders, in light of Thailand's recently announced plans to compulsorily license and export multinational sector-manufactured ARVs.
Industry sources expect the project to help reduce Vietnam's soaring trade
deficit in pharmaceuticals, and regional sales are likely to be a more attractive
prospect for the new production scheme. Vietnam's health ministry is struggling
to control drug prices, and recently ordered imported drug prices to be published
in the media twice per year. Multinationals have already complained that bureaucratic
demands for certificates of origin and new packaging rules are already adding
to the headaches of doing business in Vietnam.