Chinese Pharmaceutical Firm to Manufacture First Domestically Produced Combination Antiretroviral Therapy
Chinese drug firm Shanghai Desano Biopharmaceutical announced yesterday that it will soon sell China's first domestically produced triple-drug antiretroviral combination pill, Reuters reports. The Chinese government recently approved Desano's version of the antiretroviral drug nevirapine, which the company plans to combine with its versions of the drugs didanosine and stavudine to produce the three-drug pill. Desano's triple-drug regimen will cost between $360 and $604 per patient per year, a price much lower than the $3,600 to $6,040 that current treatment regimens using imported drugs cost. Li Jinliang, president of Desano, said that the three-drug pill could be on the market by the end of the year, and the company also plans to export the drug to developing nations. Desano is also expecting the government to approve its version of the antiretroviral drug zidovudine. If approval is given, the company could manufacture a second, "more effective" combination treatment, Cynthia Carras, a member of Desano's marketing department, said (Reuters, 11/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.