Alex Blaze

China: Distributing HIV/AIDS Drugs Reduces AIDS Deaths

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 19, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: America, Chinese gays and lesbians, economic policy, GDP, HIV/AIDS, us

China has released numbers showing that AIDS deaths go down - a lot - when aids-china.jpgHIV/AIDS drugs are given out for free:

China has slashed AIDS mortality by nearly two-thirds since it began distributing free antiretroviral drugs in 2002, Chinese government scientists are reporting.

About 63 percent of all those needing AIDS drugs are getting them, up from virtually zero in 2002. That has caused a 64 percent drop in mortality in "person-years," as China measures it, an estimate of how long someone would have lived without the disease.

AIDS mortality dropped to 14.2 per 100 person-years in 2009, from 39.3 in 2002.

The US has over six times the per capita GDP China does, but states are saying they can't afford the necessary medications for everyone who is living with HIV.

That's a lie, America is awash in wealth and could very well pay for everyone's basic health care needs if it wanted to. But the folks who profit off our inefficient health care system that requires that some people die so that those who are still alive will pay exorbitant fees for care and our inefficient labor market that requires that some people go without an income so the rest of the workers remain desperate to keep their job don't want the system to change.

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One thing the article mentioned was that China said it would make generic versions of antiretrovirals itself if Western drug companies didn't lower their prices.

Arguments about drug pricing aside, doing that here in the United States would violate both patent laws and the regulations that govern generic drugs.

Basically, the best thing we can do here is wait until antiretrovirals become available as generics, but luckily, that doesn't take very long, and the prices usually drop a lot soon after the first generics become available and multiple companies enter the market.