Stribild, a new drug to treat HIV infection, was recently approved by the FDA.
The once-a-day, single dose pill combines two previously approved drugs plus two new ones.
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The single daily dose of Stribild provides a complete treatment regimen for HIV infection, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a statement, and is meant for people who have not already received treatment with other HIV drugs.
“Through continued research and drug development, treatment for those infected with HIV has evolved from multi-pill regimens to single-pill regimens,” said Edward Cox, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
“New combination HIV drugs like Stribild help simplify treatment regimens.”
The new pill, previously called Quad, is made by Gilead Sciences in California and “should be available to patients by the end of the week,” company spokeswoman Erin Rau told AFP.
The company said it tested the pill in two double-blind clinical trials of more than 1,400 patients.
Results showed that Stribild performed as well or better than two other treatment combinations, and brought virus readings down to undetectable levels in around nine of 10 patients after 48 weeks.
“Therapies that address the individual needs of patients are critical to enhancing adherence and increasing the potential for treatment success,” Gilead chief John Martin said in a company statement.
But some advocates say the new pill is priced far too high.
“We wanted to see (a price of) no more than the current drug,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, referring to Gilead’s previously approved three-in-one pill, Atripla. But he said the price will be about a third higher than the three-pill combo.