A single tablet which is taken once a day for treating AIDS is sought to be developed by two drug firms Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Gilead Sciences Inc. The regimen of three drugs will be contained in the pill, and it is expected to receive a formal approval towards end 2006. As many as 40 million people across the world are infected by AIDS, with the poor nations accounting for most of the numbers. The US is reported to have 1 million AIDS patients.
The new single pill treatment will also bring in more infected people under its umbrella. The reason for not having brought out a single pill is reported to be purely commercial. Apart from this, no single firm had the rights over all the drugs required to produce a single pill. The three licensed drugs for AIDS will now be combined into a single salmon-colored tablet by the two pharmaceutical firms. The side effects of the drug will not be much while at the same time it will be highly effective. Test lots are already being produced at a manufacturing facility in Ontario.
The only problem with regard to this tablet is ensuring that it has adequate shelf life. If this could be provided at a reasonable price to developing nations, it may well turn out to be a big boon for them. The pill which has not yet been named
is targeted to hit the European and the US markets towards end 2006. The three drugs to be combined into a single pill are being marketed under the Emtriva, Viread and Sustiva brand names separately as at present, and account for 20% of the AIDS drugs market. The combined Viread and Emtriva medicines are already in the market under the name of Truvada.