Janssen-Cilag’s HIV treatment gets NHS backing

pharmafile | March 31, 2016 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing HIV, Janssen, NHS, drug trial 

Janssen-Cilag Ltd (Janssen) has said NHS England (NHSE) will fund its combination treatment for HIV. 

The company said following the funding its combination of darunavir and the pharmacoenhancer, cobicistat, called Rezolsta (darunavir/ cobicistat) will be available for prescription across England. 

Dr Rozlyn Bekker, medical director, Janssen UK, comments: “Significant progress in HIV treatment means that HIV can now be managed as a chronic disease with potentially normal life expectancy, provided that patients are able to adhere to treatment. By funding treatment, NHS England is making available a treatment option for individuals who require darunavir to effectively control the HIV, but who would potentially also benefit from the convenience of fewer tablets to support their adherence to treatment.” 

With fewer than 2 out of 3 HIV patients in the UK reporting 100% adherence after 8 months of treatment, experts believe that the fixed-dose combination of darunavir/ cobicistat could help improve adherence by reducing the number of pills that a patient needs to take. 

This is important given that optimal adherence is generally considered to be above 95%, the level required to prevent HIV becoming resistant to medication. 

The data have demonstrated that once-daily darunavir/cobicistat, in combination with 2 nucleotide/nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, offers effective virological suppression. Only 5% of patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events.  

Darunavir was first approved in Europe in 2007 to treat HIV-1 infected highly pre-treated patients. 

Anjali Shukla

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