Pfizer to provide dollars 50M in medicine

NEW YORK: Pfizer and the South African Ministry of Health have formed a partnership to provide free of charge the anti-fungal medication Diflucan to HIV/AIDS patients in that country.

NEW YORK: Pfizer and the South African Ministry of Health have formed a partnership to provide free of charge the anti-fungal medication Diflucan to HIV/AIDS patients in that country.

NEW YORK: Pfizer and the South African Ministry of Health have formed a partnership to provide free of charge the anti-fungal medication Diflucan to HIV/AIDS patients in that country.

Pfizer expects to donate more than dollars 50 million during the two-year program.

Participating patients will receive the drug as long as they require it, according to the company's statement.

Government hospitals and clinics in South Africa will administer the program.

'This underscores Pfizer's commitment to community and its leadership in developing new approaches to address major public health issues,' said William Steere Jr., Pfizer's chairman and CEO.

Activists in South Africa and the US have been pressuring Pfizer to act to alleviate some of the problems in the region.

Twenty-five million people in sub-Saharan Africa are infected with HIV, according to a report released last week by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization.

Diflucan is used to treat two opportunistic infections associated with AIDS, both potentially fatal if left untreated. One is cryptococcal meningitis, a brain infection that occurs in about 10% of AIDS patients. The other is esophageal candidias, a debilitating fungal infection of the esophagus that infects 20% to 40 % of patients.

Patients with these infections will require medication for the rest of their lives, according to Kris Torgeson, spokesperson for Doctors Without Borders.



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