FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2013
Laia Ruiz Mingote, Community Research Advisors Group; Tel. 0034 663 391 991
Mike Frick, Treatment Action Group; Tel. 212.253.7922
New York, New York – The Community Research Advisors Group (CRAG) and Treatment Action Group (TAG) welcome the Sanofi U.S. decision to lower the price of the tuberculosis (TB) drug rifapentine to $32 per 32-tablet blister pack. The company indicates that the new price will become effective in January 2014 under 340(b) Public Health Service pricing.
“The previous price of rifapentine, at approximately $51 per box, made the drug prohibitively expensive for U.S. TB programs to use at desired levels. In a survey conducted by TAG and the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association, 82 percent of surveyed TB programs cited rifapentine’s cost as a significant barrier to its use,” said Erica Lessem, assistant director of TAG’s TB/HIV program.
Rifapentine is a key drug in the prevention and treatment of TB. Innovative regimens using rifapentine to simplify and shorten TB therapy have been developed through publicly funded research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tuberculosis Trials Consortium.
This price decrease will make TB treatment more cost-effective for U.S. TB programs and simplify treatment for patients. With this price reduction, Sanofi U.S. is taking concrete steps to bridge the gap between TB research and practice, and is setting an example that other drug companies should follow. Expansion of health care access under the Affordable Care Act could potentially increase diagnosis of TB infection, and Sanofi’s price concession will make new treatment-simplification strategies easier for U.S. TB programs to implement.
“With this price decrease in hand, we now look forward to Sanofi making rifapentine more widely available outside of the United States by registering the drug in other countries, particularly in those countries where rifapentine has been studied, but is not yet available to TB patients,” said Laia Ruiz Mingote, chair of the Community Research Advisors Group.
The CRAG and TAG encourage Sanofi to continue supporting TB research and increasing access to rifapentine.
About CRAG:The Community Research Advisors Group is an international, community-driven advisory body that works to ensure the meaningful representation and engagement of affected communities in research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC). This group of research-literate activists supports a robust, comprehensive and innovative TBTC research agenda that is responsive to community needs as well as scientific priorities.
About TAG: Treatment Action Group is an independent AIDS research and policy think tank fighting for better treatment, a vaccine, and a cure for AIDS. TAG works to ensure that all people with HIV receive lifesaving treatment, care, and information. We are science-based treatment activists working to expand and accelerate vital research and effective community engagement with research and policy institutions. TAG catalyzes open collective action by all affected communities, scientists, and policy makers to end AIDS.
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