Feb 16, 2004
A group of 200 doctors who treat AIDS patients have called for a campaign against Abbott Labs. Abbott is raising the wholesale price of its anti-AIDS drug Norvir from $54 a month to $265. Norvir is used as a booster with the drugs of other companies. This raises the cost of the drug "cocktail", which Abbott hopes will "steer" patients toward the use of its other drug Kaletra, which doesn't need boosters, and sells for $563 a month.
Michael Weinstein, the president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said this price increase is, "purely and simply a move to wield its patent and monopoly power in the AIDS drug market and increase Abbott's own profits on this key AIDS drugs." He added that Norvir, "was developed with the help of substantial government underwriting and grants – a taxpayer investment which will now sadly benefit the corporate coffers of Abbott at the expense – literally – of the lives of millions of people living with HIV/AIDS."