How Much for A Reprieve From AIDS?

Accused of overcharging for AZT, manufacturer Burroughs Wellcome defends the cost of the drug but cuts its price 20%

To someone suffering from AIDS, the drug AZT (azidothymidine) can mean the difference between a precipitous death and a few more months of hope. The drug blocks the AIDS virus from reproducing, thereby cutting dramatically the amount of virus circulating within the blood. At the same time, a victim's ravaged immune system can replenish some of its chief defenders, called helper T cells, which may double in number during AZT treatment. Yet the drug has two notorious drawbacks. One is its side effects, which can include severe anemia. But the more bitter issue is its cost. A year's supply for a...

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