Anti-HIV Drug Increases Life Expectancy

June 8, 2018  Source: medicalxpress 142

India is considered as the world’s third largest population with HIV, where more than two million people are affected. The anti-HIV drug named dolutegravir with fewer side effects, compared to other currently available HIV drugs, was developed by ViiV Healthcare. It is widely available in multiple African countries and currently recommended in Europe and North America. Its generic version recently become available in India, bringing new hope to save lives and reduce the number of new HIV infections by 23 percent.

The research work under the lead investigator Amy Zheng of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Medical Practice Evaluation Center in Boston indicated that the Dolutegravir-based regimen would increase the life expectancy of HIV victims by 2.8 years and prevent 13,000 new HIV infections over 5 years. It was also revealed that this first-line treatment would be cost-effective in 2 years and cost-saving over 5 years.

Two Indian pharmaceutical companies have even agreed to provide a generic, dolutegravir-based combination drug to several African countries for $75 per patient per year, a cost even lower than that of current HIV therapies in India. However, due to its non-standardization and the annual overall costs, generic dolutegravir still remains out of reach in India.

The senior author Kenneth A. Freedberg, MD, MSc, of the MGH Medical Practice Evaluation Center said, "With India being the world's leading producer of generic HIV therapy, it only makes sense for the tremendous benefits of these therapies to become available to people with HIV in India."

By Ddu
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