Only two pharmaceutical companies have applied to register three-in-one pills containing the state-of-the-art ingredient dolutegravir, according to the Medicines Control Council. This means there will be limited competition for the next AIDS drug tender, as there will not be time for rival manufacturers to get their products approved when the pill is introduced in April. However, the new pricing agreement for low-and middle-income countries announced last week by UNAIDS, means SA is guaranteed to pay no more than $75 per person a year for generic pills combining dolutegravir, tenofovir and lamivudine manufactured by Aurobindo and Mylan — which is about $25 less than the cheapest fixed-dose combination pill on the market. It took at least 12 months for HIV medicines, which qualify for fast-track assessment, to be assessed by the council, said registrar Joey Gouws. Six companies had applied to register single-dose dolutegravir products, she said. GlaxoSmithKline has already launched d...

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