Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - There is an old saying that when one door closes, another one opens. That could be particularly true for pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences as one market for their AIDS management and HIV prevention drug Truvada is about to dry up as another, potentially far greater one emerges. Last month, Gilead's scheme to switch Truvada users to Descovy and elbow out the generic competition for HIV treatment and prevention medicine unraveled. Descovy has fewer and less severe side effects than the drug it was to replace. Truvada users have reported broken bones, kidney failure, and life-threatening ketoacidosis. America's largest health care provider, United Health Care, told policyholders that they would no longer cover the high cost of Truvada replacement drug Descovy, and force patients on to low-cost generic brands at a small fraction of the price. Descovy, like Truvada, is priced at around $1800 per month for the daily medication.
On the other hand, a new and potentially lucrative market for Truvada has opened up in China. According to Businesswire.com. "Truvada is the first medicine approved for HIV prevention in China. Previously, Truvada was approved in combination with other antiretroviral medicines as a treatment for HIV-1 infection in adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older." Health professionals are concerned, however, that people that start to use Truvada to prevent the spread of HIV from one partner to another may sometimes forget to take the daily medication and reduce the effectiveness of the drug dramatically. Also, physicians have avoided recommending Truvada as it may give people the false impression that they may use it alone without using a condom, thereby spreading other sexually transmitted diseases.
Truvada is a dangerous drug for those reasons and also because it is to be taken as a cocktail with other drugs to be effective in reducing the progression of the AIDS virus. It is for that reason that those using Truvada for prophylactic purposes need to prove that they are HIV negative before being granted a Truvada prescription. Hundreds of Truvada patients have filed suit against Gilead for failing to warn them of the potential for bone breakages, kidney failure, and ketoacidosis. Truvada users with bone density and kidney problems should consult a Truvada Bone Lawyer to see if they qualify to place a claim for reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Finally, Gilead Sciences also is facing what could be stiff competition from Cabotegravir, a new injectable form of AIDS management and prevention medication. Doctors are getting behind the drug because it gives them more control to monitor their patient's behavior since all that is required is that they come to see the doctor once per month for their injection. Doctors can then continually monitor HIV positive individual health and make adjustments on an ongoing basis when necessary. "Cabenuva (Cabotegravir) is the first and only once-monthly, complete long-acting regimen for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults to replace the current antiretroviral (ARV) regimen in patients who are virologically stable and suppressed," according to The European Pharmaceutical Review.
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