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HIV medicine funding positive start to New Year

News Release

HIV medicine funding positive start to New Year

Once-daily combination tablet reduces patient pill burden


Auckland, 21 December 2006 – A new agreement between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and drug funding agency PHARMAC will lighten the pill load for HIV patients. A new once-daily HIV medication Kivexa™ (abacavir/lamivudine), which combines two antiretrovirals in one tablet, will be fully funded from January 1st 2007.

Research has shown that patients are more likely to adhere to treatment with their antiretroviral medication if they are able to take fewer pills less frequently and if there are no food restrictions with the treatment.¹ Medication adherence is vital for achieving maximal viral suppression, thereby increasing the patient’s chances of survival.²

GlaxoSmithKline New Zealand Director of Commercial Operations, Michael Bryant, says Kivexa is an important advance in GSK’s ongoing commitment to provide new options in antiretroviral therapy for HIV patients. "Kivexa provides a flexible, well-tolerated and potent combination of two medicines that have been widely used in antiretroviral therapy for years. Patients and health professionals are familiar with the two medicines in Kivexa, which have an established efficacy and long-term safety profile. GSK is delighted funding has been made available for this important advancement."

ENDS

About Kivexa

KivexaTM (abacavir sulphate/lamivudine) is available in 600/300mg tablets. KivexaTM is a funded medicine with Special Authority criteria. Prescription Medicine for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and adolescents; it is not recommended for use in children. Use strictly as directed. Do not take KivexaTM if you have an allergy to abacavir or lamivudine or to any ingredient of the preparation. Tell your doctor if you: experience any side effects, especially hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions; are taking any other medicines or herbal remedies; have liver disease. Side Effects (common/serious): serious allergic reactions, fever, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, lethargy, muscle aches, swelling, headache, tingling sensations, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of appetite. If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your doctor, pharmacist or health professional immediately. Additional Consumer Medicine Information for KivexaTM is available at www.medsafe.govt.nz. Normal doctor's office visit fees apply. Ask your doctor if KivexaTM is right for you. KivexaTM is a trademark of GlaxoSmithKline group of companies. Marketed by GlaxoSmithKline NZ Limited, Auckland. TAPS No DA0611AH/06DE/193.

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About GlaxoSmithKline: GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies and is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. GSK is an industry leader in HIV research and therapy and is engaged in research programs designed to investigate new targets to treat HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit GlaxoSmithKline on the World Wide Web at www.gsk.co.nz. As part of the company’s worldwide programme ‘Positive Action’, GlaxoSmithKline New Zealand supplies Pacific Island nations with HIV/AIDS medications at preferential prices to enable developing nations to treat those infected with HIV.


HIV in New Zealand at a glance:

According to a recent AIDS-NewZealand report3, while overall the majority of people diagnosed with HIV have been men who have sex with men, the number of people with HIV infected through heterosexual contact has steadily increased over the past few years.

Furthermore, in parallel with the increase in the number of heterosexual infections, there has been an increase in the number of females affected and an overall increase in the proportion of all HIV infections that are female3.

References

1. Stone VE. Strategies for optimizing adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy: lessons from research and clinical practice. Clin Infect Dis. 2001; 33: 865-872.

2. Wood E et al. Effect of medication adherence on survival of HIV-infected adults who start highly active antiretroviral therapy when the CD4+ cell count is 0.200 to 0.350 x 109 cells/L.

Ann Intern Med. 2003;139(10): 810-816.

3. AIDS Epidemiology Group. AIDS-New Zealand. 2006 September;58:1-4


ENDS

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