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Zimbabwe finally switches away from stavudine

The Zimbabwean government has finally dropped stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine as its first-line HIV therapy in favour of a single dose treatment which has a combination of three drugs, namely tenofovir/lamivudine/efavirenz (TLN).The Government dropped the first line HIV treatment after realizing that it was causing severe side effects on patients. Stanley Takaona of the Zimbabwe HIV and AIDS Activist Union Community Trust said the introduction of the new HIV drug was going to save more lives.

Published
19 January 2015
From
AllAfrica
New Issue Of ‘Global Fund News Flash’ Available Online

The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash discusses the importance of dialogue and cooperation for achieving global health goals; reaching key populations with HIV prevention, treatment, and care services; and preventing malaria in Myanmar.

Published
19 January 2015
From
The Global Fund
How India's Patent Office Destroyed Gilead's Global Game Plan

Sovaldi is a breakthrough drug. Shouldn't that be worth something? "It's important to recognize that what the patent office deals with is whether something is new in science," lawyer Tahir Amin said. "The decision says there are a number of earlier compound structures that are very close to what Gilead is trying to get a patent for. It's a scientific decision and has nothing to do with the utility of the drug."

Published
19 January 2015
From
Bloomberg Businessweek
The Cynical Connectedness of Gilead's Hepatitis C Pricing and Anti-Diversion Policies

Gilead has announced both the highest recorded prices ever for its direct acting hepatitis C antiviral, ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni), and one of the most stringent anti-diversion programs ever devised. The price, highest in the U.S., comes in at a whopping US$94,000 for a 12-week course of treatment, with slightly lower prices in Europe.

Published
19 January 2015
From
The Body Pro
Hepatitis C drug delayed by NHS due to high cost

The NHS is to delay the introduction of a highly expensive drug that can save the lives of people infected with the hepatitis C virus. The move by NHS England is unprecedented, because the NHS rationing body, Nice (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has approved the drug. Nice says sofosbuvir is cost-effective, because it is a cure for people who would otherwise run up huge NHS bills.

Published
16 January 2015
From
The Guardian
HIV/AIDS patients in Deep South of U.S. have lower survival rates

A nine-state region of the US South has the nation's lowest five-year survival rate among people diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, according to new research. Fifteen percent of people diagnosed with HIV and 27 percent of those diagnosed with AIDS in 2003-2004 had died within five years of diagnosis. Researchers say poverty, education, health insurance, social stigma and racism contribute.

Published
15 January 2015
From
Science Daily
How Much Could AbbVie Inc. Make Selling Its Hepatitis C Drug This Year?

AbbVie has issued its guidance for 2015, and that guidance suggests that its newly launched hepatitis C drug cocktail, Viekira Pak, could be a big driver of earnings growth this year. In December, Viekira Pak received FDA approval as a treatment for hepatitis C genotype 1 after delivering compelling functional cure rates in the mid-90% range during clinical trials. That approval was highly anticipated by health care payers desperate for competition in this market, because hepatitis C market share leader Gilead Sciences' two hepatitis C drugs, Sovaldi and Harvoni, carry eye-popping price tags that are translating into billions of additional dollars in health care spending.

Published
15 January 2015
From
The Motley Fool
India rejects Gilead's Hepatitis C drug patent request

India's patent office has rejected an application from U.S.-based Gilead Sciences Inc for its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, paving the way for local drugmakers to launch cheaper generic versions of the $1,000-a-pill medicine.

Published
14 January 2015
From
Reuters
Dolutegravir and Truimeq approved in England: London guidelines updated

On 14 January 2015, NHS England published the long awaited policy on dolutegravir and the fixed dose combination (FDC) of dolutegravir/abacavir/3TC (Triumeq). The London prescribing guidelines for first-line therapy have also been updated to include dolutegravir and Triumeq.

Published
14 January 2015
From
HIV i-Base
South African HIV Program on Rights of Sex Workers

“The introduction of a national HIV programme for sex workers finally plugs a gaping hole in our country’s response to the epidemic,” said Dr. Fareed Abdullah, CEO of the South African National AIDS Council. “General HIV services simply do not meet the special needs of sex workers.”

Published
13 January 2015
From
Global Fund press release

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