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National Minority AIDS Council

March 15, 1996
Action Alert

Protease Inhibitor Crixivan (Indinavir Sulfate)
Approved by FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new protease inhibitor Crixivan, the first anti-HIV drug developed by Merck's AIDS research program.

Crixivan disables the protease enzyme that enables HIV to replicate. Crixivan can be taken alone or in combination with other anti-HIV drugs such as AZT or 3TC.

Is Crixivan Effective? Yes!

  • Clinical trials have demonstrated that Crixivan treatment results in higher CD4 cell counts and reduced amounts of HIV in the blood. Crixivan is also generally well tolerated.

How much will Crixivan Cost?

  • Crixivan will wholesale for $4,380 per year or $12 per day. This is less expensive than the other protease inhibitors, Invirase (saquinavir) and Norvir (ritonavir).

How to get Crixivan:

  • Crixivan is not available in drugstores at this time. Merck is building new production facilities, and must limit the initial distribution of Crixivan to ensure that all those who start Crixivan therapy will be able to continue the therapy uninterrupted. The new facilities will not be operational until sometime after October of this year.

  • Until then, Crixivan will be available through STADTLANDERS, a mail order service. STADTLANDERS will start to fill prescriptions on March 25, 1996.

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  • To get Crixivan, physicians must fax prescriptions and an enrollment form to STADTLANDERS at fax 1-800-238-1549

  • To get information about Crixivan, assistance with insurance coverage or patient assistance programs, call STADTLANDERS at 1-800-927-8888, which will be operational on Monday, March 18th.

Why Time is of the Essence:

  • The limited supply of Crixivan will be distributed on a first come, fist serve basis.

  • Doctors must contact STADTLANDERS, not patients.

  • If your drug plan decides not to cover the cost of Crixivan, Merck will also not pay for your prescription.

  • If your drug plan is undecided, Merck may accept you into their patient assistance program if you meet the income eligibility requirements. Once you are enrolled in this program, you are always covered by Merck, regardless of the decision your other drug plan makes about Crixivan coverage.

  • Patients must speak to their physicians about starting and maintaining Crixivan therapy. Therapy must not be interrupted.

The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) is a national membership organization that represents over 600 community-based organizations. These frontlines organizations provide outreach, care, education, housing and support services to thousands of men and women in communities of color. NMAC provides visibility, leadership, educational messages, comprehensive technical assistance and most important a powerful national voice to these frontline AIDS workers.


For more information contact
Moisés Agosto or Richard Ehara
National Minority AIDS Council
1931 13th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Research and Treatment Advocacy Department
Tel: 202-483-6622
Fax: 202-483-1135




  
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This article was provided by National Minority AIDS Council. Visit NMAC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 

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