HIV drugs - Abbott's Greed

HIV drugs

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In recent years the price of first-line AIDS drugs has fallen dramatically, from US$10,000 to US$140/patient/year according to the Clinton Foundation. But with growing resistance to these first-line drugs and side-effects, there is an urgent need for new “second-line” drugs. Unfortunately affordable global access to these drugs is nearly non-existent.

[edit] Kaletra

Abbott’s Kaletra (a combination of drugs Lopinavir and Ritonavir [LPV/r]) is among these critical second-line drugs. Abbott received FDA approval in October, 2005 for a new tablet version of Kaletra (also referred to as Aluvia) that makes huge improvements over the older capsul form for use in resource-poor settings. This newer version of Kaletra:
  • Does not require refrigeration (the old version melted on a warm day)
  • Can be administered without regard to meals
  • Requires fewer pills per day (2-4 tablets a day vs 3-6 capsules)

LPV/r has been recognized as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization and will be included in its revised antiretroviral treatment guidelines, in which boosted protease inhibitors represent the cornerstone of second-line therapy.

In short, there is an urgent need in developing countries for access to the new heat-stable formulation of LPV/r, as no other drug is as practical to use in the hot climates of many of these countries or as successful in treatment.’’’

[edit] Norvir

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