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CA pressures drug maker on AIDS drug costs

July 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
California is pressuring Bristol-Myers Squibb to reduce the cost of a key AIDS medication.The drug giant's Reyataz is one of the most common drugs to treat AIDS patients, and it's the most costly with an average wholesale price of $13,046 a year.

State Controller John Chiang wrote Bristol-Myers Squibb this month to urge the company to join other pharmaceutical companies that have found ways to reduce the cost of drugs to California.

The giant California retirement funds CalPERS and CalSTRS, which have investments in Bristol-Myers Squibb, also sent letters urging a cut in the cost of the anti-retroviral drug.

Bristol-Myers Squibb accounts for about 30 percent of all drugs purchased in California to treat AIDS patients.