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Viatris, the global drug maker that resulted from the recent merger of Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn unit, has transformed the treatment of HIV around world in the past five years. Working through public-private partnerships with organizations like Unitaid, the WHO-affiliated global health agency, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the company introduced the first low-cost antiretroviral with dolutegravir, the recommended first-line treatment for HIV, expanding that drug’s access to the 35 million people living with the virus in low- and middle-income countries. Priced at just $75 per year, the product was game-changing, says Unitaid’s Robert Matiru, who notes that the same is true of the version—strawberry-flavored tablets that dissolve in liquid—that Viatris recently launched for children (adult drugs are not formulated for young patients, and their bitter taste makes them hard for kids to take). The children’s version also lowers the cost of treatment by 75%, to $120 per year. Moreover, Matiru marvels at the “record-pace” speed and professionalism with which Viatris, now the world’s largest provider of antiretrovirals, has developed these low-cost, state-of-the-art medicines for populations who previously had no way to get them.
Courtesy of Viatris
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