Merck Gives Adcock Free License for HIV Drug
According to South African newspaper Business Day, Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has granted South Africa’s second biggest generic drugmaker, Adcock Ingram, a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to make copies of its HIV drug, efavirenz.
The agreement will come into practical effect once the pills have been approved by South Africa’s Medicines Control Council.
According to Business Day, MSD’s agreement with Adcock Ingram will widen the South African government’s range of potential suppliers of antiretroviral medicines. MSD is the sole supplier to the state of efavirenz, which it sells under the brand name Stocrin.
Jonathan Louw, managing director for Adcock Ingram Healthcare, said the company’s generic efavirenz would be sold at a significant discount to MSD’s version, but added the price would depend to some extent on the volumes sold.
Under the terms of the deal with MSD, Adcock is confined to making standalone efavirenz and may not package it with other pills or combine it with other drugs in a single pill, the paper reported.