Speaking at the conference on Monday, Clinton commended South Africa’s community health worker programme and was applauded when he said that Zuma “is proud that his country is no longer a pariah in the fight against AIDS”.
He also said that Zuma was able to save $300 million.
During his speech he called for more action in the fight against HIV and AIDS and urged for funds to go directly to AIDS sufferers, rather than expensive administrations.
"In too many countries, too much money goes to pay for too many people to go to too many meetings and get on too many aeroplanes to provide too much technical assistance.
“Too much is spent on studies and reports that sit on shelves. And maybe when we've got all the money in the world this is regrettable but not tragic, but keep in mind: every dollar we waste today puts a life at risk,” he said.
Clinton praised UNITAID, which funds Clinton’s own Health Access Initiative (CHAI), for successfully bringing down the cost of second-line therapies for low-income countries from $1000 a year to $435.
However, he said he saw little immediate chance of further reductions in the cost of first-line therapy from the current $90, except in improved pricing for tenofovir-containing fixed-dose combinations.
Any further reduction in the cost of treatment to low-income countries would therefore have to come from more efficiency and lower distribution costs.
He praised ‘task shifting’ programmes, in which nurses were trained to do tasks formerly performed by doctors and community health workers the tasks of nurses.
He pointed out that, in the USA, people building a nuclear power station could pay the cost by instalments over the forthcoming 30 years because it was recognised that power stations more than recouped their costs over that period.
“Healthcare is not just a right. It is an extraordinarily high-value development investment with a high rate of return.” He criticised the US pharmaceutical industry for not reducing its prices so that 1700 people with HIV in the USA could be taken off waiting lists for antiretrovirals.
“The drug manufacturers have been paid $10,000 a year per patient by the government for years for Medicaid programmes. They could take care of those 1700 people tomorrow and never miss the money.” – Xinhua-BuaNews