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Medication Costs

Jan 6, 2012

Just curious to get an expert opinion on this. Many HIV meds have been available for a while. I know typically, a medication can go generic at about 7 years. Is there any hope that some of the meds we currently use may be generic soon or is the problem of mutation always going to require HIV folks to change to newer meds on a consistent basis, thus never having generics as a viable option.

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for posting.

We are beginning to see the emergence of generic medications for HIV in the US. While the currently available generics aren't generally part of everyday use, in the next few years, we'll see the generic arrival of current standard bearers, including abacavir, lamivudine, efavirenz.

Mutation risk will always be there, but it's clear that with improved understanding of adherence and more potent medications, that the rates of new treatment failure appears to be on the decline here in the US and in Europe. This gives me strong hope that the previous orthodoxy of the inevitability of treatment failure may be a fading memory of times past.

How generics will figure into our future treatment landscape, with the launch of new combinations and changing insurance and copayment environment remains to be determined, but what is clear is that things will change- hopefully for the better.

Be well, BY

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