Cipla Releases Three-in-One Drug Combination of Stavudine, Lamivudine and Nevirapine
Indian drug maker Cipla Ltd. yesterday unveiled its new pill Triomune, a three-in-one combination of the antiretrovirals stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine, Reuters reports. Triomune, which comes in tablet form, is the first three-in-one combination of the three drugs, the patents for which are held by three different pharmaceutical firms. GlaxoSmithKline holds the patent for lamivudine, Boehringer Ingelheim has the patent on nevirapine and Bristol-Myers Squibb has the patent on stavudine. Cipla is legally allowed to produce its own version of the three drugs because Indian patent law stipulates that patents apply only to the processes by which the drugs are made, not the drugs themselves. A month's supply of Triomune will cost approximately $38, a five- to six-fold reduction in the price of treatment with the brand-name drugs (Reuters, 8/6). Because the tablet contains all three antiretrovirals, the "pill burden" for people with HIV or AIDS will be reduced from six pills to two pills per day. Cipla is also developing a pediatric version of nevirapine called Nevimune Suspension. The Hindu Business Line reports that when combined with zidovudine and lamivudine, Nevimune Suspension should "considerably help treat HIV" in children (Hindu Business Line, 8/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.