What We Want - Abbott's Greed

What We Want

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Register Kaletra/Aluvia in all countries and publish a timeline for country registrations; seek temporary waivers until registration is complete!

It is completely unacceptable that this life-saving drug continues to be unavailable to those who need it most.

Abbott's current policy--that it will not register and sell new Kaletra/Aluvia in Thailand--shows the crass greed of Abbott Labs. Rich northern people deserve the drug, but people in Asia or Africa don't deserve it.

Use of Kaletra in the Global South, like any drug, requires registration in country drug regulatory agencies (NDRAs)–the equivalent of the US FDA–or it requires negotiation of temporary waivers. Registration of drugs is the responsibility of the manufacturer, yet Abbott has only filed for registration in a handful of countries since U.S. FDA approval was granted in Oct 2005.

Activist pressure since February has resulted in Abbott beginning the registration process in South Africa, and receiving approval in the European Union. However, much more is needed. Of the 114 countries that are now part of Abbott’s ‘expanded’ ACCESS initiative, new Kaletra/Aluvia is registered in less than half of them. This simply means there is no access to it in any of these countries. Abbott has made no concrete commitment to increased resources to make sure that registration occurs, nor have they offered a timeline for the filing of country registrations.


Immediately establish affordable prices for new Kaletra for all low- and middle-income countries, which includes many in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Eastern Europe left out of Abbott’s program.

Abbott’s announcement to initiate “a sustainable pricing structure that reduces the price of lopinavir/ritonavir tablets to $2,200 per patient per year in low-income and low-middle-income countries” is nowhere near an affordable price. Both $500 and $2,200 are prohibitively high for people throughout the Global South.

Since 2001 Abbott has offered lower prices for Kaletra at $500/patient/year, and after pressure from activists, the price was extended to include new Kaletra/Aluvia. However, this price is offered to only 69 countries—leaving out millions who live in countries deemed not poor enough by Abbott. Based on UNAIDS/WHO proposals, there are now about 117 countries that should be eligible for the program. Abbott has said that they will ‘expand’ their initiative to include 114 countries, but Abbott has simply modified the program instead of expanding it. The new countries included in the initiative will not be given the $500/patient/year discount but must pay the $2,200/patient/year price tag Abbott has announced. “Middle income” countries like Thailand, where 1/3 of the population is living on less than $2 a day, yet Abbott insists that $2,200/patient/year is sustainable and affordable.


Offer a voluntary open license to governments and companies to produce generic Kaletra/Aluvia in the Global South, and do not pursue any new patents.

There are currently no widely-available generic versions of new Kaletra—and we know that generic production has the potential to decrease prices up to 95%! A few generics of the old version are available only in India. Abbott has so far refused to provide licenses for Kaletra to interested generic producers, including producers in Brazil. A voluntary, open license would allow governments and other companies to make affordable generic medicines and bring prices down through fair competition.

Abbott should further withdraw all pending patent applications in developing countries and file no new patents. There is not justification for keeping generic versions of this life-saving drug off the market where they are most needed—especially since Abbott makes massive profit off wealthy country markets!


Create a half-dose tablet and syrup that is more palatable and doesn’t require refrigeration, and publish a timeline for development.

The current pediatric version of Kaletra (a syrup) tastes so bad and must be taken in such large quantities by children that it makes them sick. In addition, it must be refrigerated and so cannot reach rural populations. Abbott announced in August that they would be working on a tablet version of Kaletra in a pediatric form. However, they have not offered a timeline for production or accountability of their commitment to develop the tablet.

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