Defiance Campaign

William C. Steere, CEO
235 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
20 June 2000

Dear Mr. Steere


The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has learnt from sources inside your company that Pfizer has limited its offer of free fluconazole for cryptococcal meningitis for people with HIV/AIDS who cannot afford the drug to two and a half years. This limitation coincides with the expiry of your patent. In addition, you have excluded other countries from this donation and you refuse to negotiate a significant price reduction.

As you are aware, the South African government can import fluconazole for less than R2.00 per 200mg capsule. TAC supported by the trade unions, religious bodies and civil society organisations demand that you lower your price to less than R4.00 per 200mg capsule and provide an appropriate equivalent for infants and children with HIV/AIDS.

TAC accepted your donation in good faith and as an indication that you are willing to negotiate a price reduction. We also indicated that our Minister of Health should accept your donation. We have been misled.

Pfizer leaves us no option but to take public action against your company and to mobilise international public opinion against profiteering. Every day’s delay in a significant price reduction costs lives. Finally, we request that you lower your price to less than R4.00 per 200mg capsule before 29th June 2000 or that you issue a voluntary licence to allow the importation of the generic equivalent of Diflucan--fluconazole.

Yours faithfully

Zackie Achmat (TAC Chairperson) Promise Mthembu (TAC Executive)

cc Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Minister of Health; Dr. George Flouty, Medical Director, Public Health Programs, Pfizer; Barry Smith, CEO, Pfizer South Africa; Lodewijk J.R. de Vink, CEO, Warner-Lambert; Gordon Knapp CEO, Warner-Lambert South Africa

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