Several drug makers announced developments in HIV/AIDS treatments intended to increase drug access in developing countries. Summaries of recent news articles appear below.
- GlaxoSmithKline and Boehringer Ingelheim on Monday announced that the companies will accelerate development of a combination pill containing GSK's Combivir and Boehringer's Viramune. The combination treatment was recommended by the World Health Organization for treating HIV in developing countries, Dow Jones News reports. The company plans to seek approval under a new FDA expedited review process (Dow Jones News, 7/12). The process is designed to review new products that combine FDA-approved HIV/AIDS drugs into a fixed-dose pill and new co-packaging of existing treatments (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/18).
- Thai health officials on Saturday said the government may produce generic versions of Merck's Stocrin, known generically as efavirenz, and Abbott Laboratories' Kaletra, a combination pill containing lopinavir and ritonavir, Reuters reports. Officials plan to use the pill to treat the 20%, or 250,000, HIV-positive Thai people who are resistant to GPO-VIR, a combination of stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine produced by the Government Pharmaceutical Association (Reuters, 7/12).
- Indian drug company Cipla has patented its combination pill Triomune in South Africa, Reuters/Wall Street Journal reports. The pill, which is taken twice daily, contains generic versions of GSK's lamivudine, Bristol-Meyers Squibb's stavudine and Boehringer's nevirapine, all of which are patent-protected. However, Bristol-Meyers Squibb spokesperson Tracy Furey said the company does not plan to seek damages for patent infringement. Cipla is seeking patents for the drug in 17 other African countries, Reuters/Wall Street Journal reports (Reuters/ Wall Street Journal, 7/13).
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Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.