Sep 6, 2011
I read, today, that several major drugs are about to be available in generic form and it noted that some HIV drugs will be among them. Can you elaborate about which drugs they're referring to?
Response from Dr. McGowan
Generic medications have been in use in the developing world for several years (Brazil and India). Many of the pharmaceutical companies have negatiated deals to deliver the brand drugs to people in need in these areas at reduced cost to try to address this trend.
In the US, patents are due to expire in the next few years for a number of agents. The expiration dates may be subject to change due to litigation. Also, generics may not become available immediately, it can take time for a manufacturer to pick up teh drug and pressure to reduce [rices will not be keen without the competition.
Combivir (zidovudine/lamivudine) is due to come off patent in 4th Quarter (Nov) 2011. Viramune (nevirapine) in 2nd quarter (May) 2012 Viracept (nelfinavir) in 2nd Quarter (April) 2014 Norvir (ritonavir) 1st Quarter (Jan) 2015 Sustiva (efavirenz) 1st Quarter (Jan) 2015 Fuzeon (enfuvirtide) 4th Quarter (Dec) 2015 Reyataz (atazanavir) 2nd Quarter (June) 2019
Obviously by the time patents expire the field has largely moved on to newer meds. But some of these drugs will offer cheaper and safe combinations in the future.
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