In Colombia, where the government is looking into the idea of giving a compulsory license for an essential HIV therapy, a fight with the pharmaceutical sector is now raging over the price of a prescription drug.
Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo, the health minister of Colombia, issued a resolution last month asking the government to consider whether it should apply for a license to buy generic versions of the HIV medication dolutegravir, which is produced by ViiV Healthcare, which is largely owned by GSK.
Commercially, the medication is marketed under the names Tivicay or, when used with other medications, Dovato.
The Pan-American Health Organization spends almost 50 times as much for generic versions of the drug as the cost of a month’s supply of the strongest formulation, according to the resolution.
Additionally, the number of HIV cases in Colombia increased 31% last year, reaching 18,410 cases without counting those linked to migrants escaping unrest in neighboring Venezuela.