Former US President Bill Clinton has unveiled a major deal with two Indian drugs companies to provide cheaper HIV/Aids drugs to developing nations.

The Clinton Foundation’s agreement will cut the cost of what are known as second line anti-retrovirals by 25-50%. Second line drugs are used when cheaper and earlier forms of treatment fail.

The new generic drugs will be made available to HIV/Aids sufferers in more than 60 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr Clinton said seven million people in those countries were in need of treatment for HIV/Aids, but could not afford it. “This drug represents the best chance that science has to offer and we’re announcing this price to help national governments plan for the use of the product in the future.” Bill Clinton

The former US president said the deal, forged between the Clinton Foundation and Indian companies Cipla Ltd and Matrix Laboratories Ltd, was “groundbreaking”. He said that the pact, made in partnership with international drug purchase facility Unitaid, would sharply reduce the costs of treating people living with HIV/Aids in many developing countries.

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