Indian AIDS drug gets rave review

A cheap three-in-one generic AIDS pill from India is just as good as more expensive branded medicines and should be widely used in developing countries, researchers have said.

    WHO aims to ensure AIDS drugs to three million by end-2005

    Lack of scientific evidence about the clinical effectiveness of such generic fixed-dose combinations has until now caused some international AIDS donors to refuse to fund their use.

       

    But a team from the French national agency for AIDS research and Swiss charity Medecins sans Frontieres said Cipla's Triomune performed as well as brand drugs in the first open clinical study in a developing country.

       

    They found that 80% of HIV-infected patients given the tablet twice a day had undetectable levels of virus in their blood after six months of treatment.

     

    Comparable results

       

    Results of the study involving 60 patients in Cameroon, 92%  of whom had full-blown AIDS, were published in The Lancet medical journal on Friday.

       

    "It is now no longer possible to raise scientific uncertainty as an objection to the widespread utilisation of FDCs in the developing countries"

    Eric Delaporte,
    AIDS drug study coordinator

    "This generic fixed-dose combination (FDC) gives results comparable to those seen in the developed world using triple-drug therapy comprising brand-name drugs," said study coordinator Eric Delaporte.

       

    "It is now no longer possible to raise scientific uncertainty as an objection to the widespread utilisation of FDCs in the developing countries."

       

    In addition to being cheaper, drugs like Triomune - which contains GlaxoSmithKline's lamivudine, Bristol-Myers Squibb's stavudine and Boehringer Ingelheim's nevirapine - are simpler to use since patients need to take only two pills a day.

       

    As such, they have a major role to play in meeting the World Health Organisation's goal of getting antiretrovirals to three million people in the developing world by the end of 2005, N Kumarasamy of the YRG Centre for AIDS Research and Education in

    Chennai wrote in a commentary accompanying the research.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.