Can the generic antiretroviral industry support access to a universal antiretroviral regimen?

Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2017 Jul;12(4):390-397. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000382.


Purpose of review: The generic antiretroviral (ARV) industry played a critical role in the massive scale-up of HIV treatment in low-income and middle-income countries since 2000. As the global community looks ahead to a universal antiretroviral regimen, this article considers the industry's role in supporting universal access to affordable, simpler, more durable, and tolerable HIV treatment regimens.

Recent findings: Generic manufacturers made treatment scale-up in low-income and middle-income countries possible through reducing prices, combining molecules from different originator companies to develop optimal fixed-dose combinations, and investing in production capacity to meet escalating demand. Achieving scale-up of a universal regimen will require continued partnership in these areas. Collaboration on the demand and supply sides of the ARV marketplace will be required to foster a healthy and sustainable marketplace for new regimens. This includes clear priority setting from the global treatment community on priority products; predictable demand; regulatory prioritization of optimal products; effective tendering and procurement practices that enable multiple suppliers to participate in the market; coordinated product introduction efforts between Ministries of Health, partners, and civil society; and transparency from both buyers and suppliers to promote and monitor supply security.

Summary: New regimens will benefit people living with HIV, as well as buyers and generic suppliers, by maximizing existing production capacity and treatment budgets to reach the 90-90-90 goals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / economics*
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / supply & distribution
  • Commerce
  • Developing Countries / economics
  • Drug Costs*
  • Drugs, Generic / economics*
  • Drugs, Generic / supply & distribution*
  • Drugs, Generic / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / economics*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents
  • Drugs, Generic