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U.S. News

Study: Generics Could Cut Costs of HIV Treatment

January 15, 2013

HIV-infected patients may soon be able to switch from a branded one-pill combination of antiretroviral drugs to a less expensive protocol that combines generic and branded drugs. Current guidelines recommend HIV-infected people take the single-pill combination of efavirenz (Sustiva), emtricitabine (Emtriva), and tenofovir (Viread). The cheaper three-pill regimen would include a generic version of efavirenz, lamivudine (similar to emtricitabine), and Atripla. According to Rochelle Walensky, MD, the United States could see a savings of $920 million in the first year if every U.S. resident on antiretroviral therapy switched to the three-pill generic regimen.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Milo (USA) Sun., Feb. 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm EST
Does not seem much difference between brand and generic. The cost saving is 42,500 or 14%, or cost of one good car. This article is so ridiculous and making overly optimistic when anyone with a critical thinking will see through this nonsense.
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Comment by: CB (Michigan) Thu., Jan. 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm EST
"Current guidelines recommend HIV-infected people take the single-pill combination of efavirenz (Sustiva), emtricitabine (Emtriva), and tenofovir (Atripla).
...think there is a mistake in this sentence, Atripla IS efavirenz, emtricitabine and tenofovir. The sentence makes it appear tenofovir alone is the brand Atripla. I bet pharmaceuticals reduce price of Atripla combo when the components are available in generic form.
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Comment by: michael (los angeles) Thu., Jan. 17, 2013 at 4:31 am EST
it's a start, but no where near enough. first line medicine NEEDS to be formulated for generics. having HIV is stressful and depressing enough. add to that the weight of knowing that you cannot afford to spend $2000 dollars a month on medicine that will save your life is something that should never be an issue. this kind of hopelessness kills the soul.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Bob (Columbus) Sun., Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:10 am EST
Ditto. The complete lack of demand for cost controls from the HIV community is totally bizarre-one of the reasons why so much of agenda seems like it comes from another dimension. A $2000 a month medical regime is nothing but a major liability unless you're independently wealthy or destitute enough to qualify for state aide. It doesn't matter how good these drugs are if you don't have access to them, or if you have to live like a pauper for them, you're either back in 1984 or you've made a deal with the devil. I get so freaking annoyed when articles address generics with the ominous reminder that "generics are 0.0X% less effective than name brand drugs". What planet are people from that this is even brought up?!? Going without is 100% less effective!
Comment by: Milo (USA) Sun., Feb. 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm EST
Not to mention many of these drugs were developed decades ago like AZT and Hivid. Atripla been around for 7 years and fuzeon for at least 13. And someone in USA is beating into the chest that we can make generic drugs cheaper by 14%.


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