Kenya receives generic version of most effective HIV drug

Dolutegravir (DTG), the most effective HIV drug, now has a generic version in Africa, where over 25 million have HIV.

The generic version of Dolutegravir, an anti-retroviral drug taken by those living with HIV in developed countries, has been brought in Kenya, as reported by NGO Unitaid.

The expensive cost of this drug has made it inaccessible to people suffering from the disease, so the introduction of a generic – hence, cheaper – alternative is a major success for the communities in the region.

According to Capital Lifestyle, Robert Matiru of Unitaid, said: “The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper.”

Matiru has been working to reduce the cost of drugs that treat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. He said that the DTG drug is certainly “the most effective HIV treatment currently on the market.”

A 30-piece box of DTG pills costs around $25 to $50, but the generic version is only at $4 – a clearly wide price gap that African patients could substantively benefit from. According to the 2015 World Health Organisation statistics, approximately 37 million people have HIV/AIDS, 70 percent of which are in Africa.

In Kenya, 27,000 people living with HIV will receive free samples of the new drug. Later in the year, the drug will be available nationwide, it will also be rolled out in Nigeria and Uganda.

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