Corruption and the Effectiveness of Imported Antiretroviral Drugs in Averting HIV Deaths

Willa Friedman, Center for Global Development (CGD)

This paper looks at the impact of corruption on the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs in preventing deaths due to HIV and the potential channels that generate this relationship. This is based on a unique panel dataset of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which combines information on all imported antiretroviral drugs from the World Health Organization’s Global Price Reporting Mechanism with measures of corruption and estimates of the HIV prevalence and the number of deaths in each year and in each country. Countries with higher levels of corruption experience a significantly smaller drop in HIV deaths as a result of the same quantity of ARVs imported. This is followed up with a single case-study from Kenya to illustrate one potential mechanism for the observed effect, demonstrating that disproportionately more clinics begin distributing ARVs in areas that are predominantly represented by the new leader’s ethnic group.

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Presented in Session 110: AIDS in the Era of ART