Unitaid, a global health initiative that works with partners to bring about innovations to prevent, diagnose and treat major diseases, has announced that a strawberry-flavoured HIV treatment will slash the cost of yearly paediatric treatment by three quarters for the 1.7 million children living with the virus.
The dispersible treatment is the first specifically made for children and will initially be available in six African countries in the first half of 2021, the global health development organisation said in a statement on Wednesday.
The new formulation of the recommended first-line HIV treatment dolutegravir will cost $120 a year instead of $480, said Unitaid, which works in partnership with the World Health Organisation.
“A long-awaited HIV treatment designed specifically for children will now be available in low-and middle-income countries,” Unitaid said.
“The new pricing agreement with generic manufacturers Viatris and Macleods means a new dispersible formulation of the recommended first-line HIV treatment DTG will be launched at a yearly cost of $36 per child, reduced from around $400.”
This will bring down the total cost of yearly paediatric HIV treatment by three quarters from over $480 per child to under $120 per child, said Unitaid.
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