The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has praised German drug maker Boehringer for voluntarily increasing its drug pricing rebates.

Boehringer raised its drug discounts for the network Aids Drug Assistance Programs, which currently have more than 8,900 people on waiting lists to access life-saving antiretroviral medicines.

The agreement extends additional rebates on HIV medications produced by Boehringer beyond existing ones, through to 2013 and extends price freezes on HIV medications purchased by Aids Drug Assistance Programs.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein said that drug companies like Johnson & Johnson and Merck should follow Boehringer’s lead and do more to address the crisis.

He continued, “Boehringer Ingelheim’s action earlier today is a watershed moment in the AIDS drug crisis. We commend [its] executives for their realism and leadership for being among the first to address this crisis by voluntarily increasing their drug rebates for Aids Drug Assistance Programs.”

At its annual general meeting earlier this year, Abbott Laboratories said that it would increase its rebate for Aids Drug Assistance Programs by 8%, however, AIDS Healthcare Foundation officials have not confirm this proposed action.