Pharma Companies Scrapping HIV Diagnostics Endangers Patients

In Global Advocacy, Global Featured, News by Brian Shepherd

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) supports an appeal by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urging Abbott Laboratories and Becton Dickinson (BD) to continue production of equipment and consumables for point-of-care (POC) CD4 machines. Both companies have announced that they will phase out the production of cartridges and devices over the coming years, including Abbott’s Pima CD4 analyzers, which AHF widely uses around the world.

“We fully support MSF’s position on this issue. POC CD4 machines are vital to patient care, especially because we are seeing an increase in HIV late presenters across AHF facilities, including people with advanced AIDS; in such cases, baseline CD4 is essential, and if it is available at POC, it is even more effective. The WHO needs to emphasize this fact!” said AHF Senior Global Medical Director Dr. Adele Schwartz Benzaken. “COVID-19 disrupted HIV testing and delayed treatment initiation for HIV positive people. Rapid CD4 testing saves lives by getting people into treatment for opportunistic infections. We urge Abbott and BD not to abandon patients and medical providers who rely on this technology every day.”

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