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Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

F.D.A. Approves Once-a-Day H.I.V. Treatment That Few Can Afford

The Food and Drug Administration approved a new once-a-day H.I.V. treatment from Gilead Sciences that contains four different drugs in one pill. But the price Gilead plans to charge for the new drug — about $28,500 a year — was criticized as excessive by one AIDS activist, who said it would put additional pressure on the already strained public health programs that pay for the majority of H.I.V. medications.

“That’s shockingly irresponsible,” said the activist, Michael Weinstein, the president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which treats more than 100,000 infected individuals around the world. “It’s just unsustainable at these levels.”

Gilead said the price was in line with that of some other regimens for treating H.I.V.

The new drug, which will be called Stribild, is the third once-a-day pill for H.I.V. brought to market by Gilead, after Atripla in 2006 and Complera in 2011. In the late 1990s, when cocktails of drugs began to be used to successfully treat the infection, patients sometimes had to take two dozen pills, at various times of the day and night.

Stribild, which was previously known as the Quad, does not appear to represent a huge leap medically.

In the clinical trials that led to its approval, Stribild was roughly equivalent to Atripla and to another combination, though it avoids some psychiatric side effects of Atripla…

Read more: NY Times

 

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