AIDs organization lifts Abbott ban

A boycott of Abbott Laboratories by the Center for AIDS Information & Advocacy, a local HIV/AIDS organization, that began two years ago is being lifted. According to the press release:

    The boycott was part of a broad effort across the nation by community organizations, physicians, and other groups and included refusal to attend Abbott-sponsored programs, participate in company invitational meetings, accept financial donations, and more. The efforts against Abbott also included several lawsuits, on-site protests, and even a hearing at the US Food and Drug Administration in 2004 to consider releasing ritonavir‘s patent...

    In a letter addressed to Abbott, Gegeny states that his organization is lifting its two-year boycott of the pharmaceutical company in light of recent good-faith efforts by the company toward the HIV/AIDS community including:

    • The prompt donation of needed monies and pharmaceutical products to victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as relief organizations in the affected areas.

    • A 2005 price increase for Abbott‘s Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) of just over 10%, which now corresponds to a new formulation of Kaletra tablets. Gegeny explains that this is reasonable given the company‘s investment to develop the improved formulation that no longer requires refrigeration.

    • A price-freeze for Kaletra negotiated with state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) through 2007.

    • A partnership with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to create an international network of centers treating children with HIV.

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