Single pill HIV drug to hit market next month
Posted Monday, February 18 2013 at 02:06
Healthcare. Drug manufacturer Quality Chemicals says the new single pill a day will fight resistance and improve adherence to treatment by patients.
Locally produced Tenofovir based anti-retroviral (ARVs) will be introduced on the Uganda market next month, Quality Chemicals has announced.
The drug manufacturer says the new single pill per day will improve adherence to treatment by HIV/Aids patients.
In an interview with the Daily Monitor, the chief executive officer, Mr Emmanuel Katongole said taking several drugs daily is causing resistance to drugs.
“However, with the new Tenofovir based ARVs, we believe that it will be easy for people to swallow one tablet a day,” Mr Katongole said. The manager of the HIV/Aids control programme manager in the Ministry of Health, Dr Alex Ario, said Tenofovir-based ARVs are not new on the market.
“We have been getting them from partners like PEPFAR. But now we have started producing them locally and in the long run, the price will have to go down eventually,”Dr Ario said.
He explained that the single pill has been recommended by the ministry and is included in the policy document as one of the best treatments for HIV/Aids.
“Tenofovir based ARVs are highly recommended by the ministry because it’s a single pill. It has fewer side effects and also harmonises with the treatment for Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission,” explained Dr Ario.
However, Mr Katongole cautioned the public against lowering their guard against HIV/Aids since a 2012 research in Uganda, Kenya and Botswana revealed that using Tenofovir gives the user 62 per cent protection against the virus.
Quality Chemicals also says it plans to construct a second factory adjacent to the one in Luzira, a Kampala suburb, to boost the supply of medicine to Kenya and open up markets in the rest of the region.