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Drug Regimen
Sep 10, 2006

Currently I am on a regimen of Kaletra, Sustiva and Combivir--and have to pay 30% of all costs --I have been basically undetectable for the last several years and my Tcells stand at about 34%--I have asked my doctor several times about changing my drug regimen in order to help with costs but she absolutely refuses to do so and tells me that she does not want to change until the need arises like a drug resistance develops-- is there any advice??

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

The issue of the costs of HIV medications can really be difficult-- whether one's in the developing world or (as it would seem in your case) here in the US.

You haven't given us enough information here to give good guidance about your potential options, but it sounds like this might be your first drug regimen.

If so, there should be a number of ways to reduce the costs- perhaps by eliminating either the lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) or the efavirenz (Sustiva). One of the parts of Combivir, AZT is now generic; there may be some strategies for using the generic form to decrease your out-of-pocket costs.

Write us back with information regarding whether this is your first- or "salvage" drug regimen and whether you've had any previous evidence of drug resistance. That information is critical before deciding on how and what to switch or simplify therapy to.

Best of luck, BY



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