European Union Grants Marketing Approval to Antiretroviral Fuzeon, Developed by Roche, Trimeris
Swiss drug maker Roche on Tuesday announced that the European Union has granted approval to its antiretroviral drug Fuzeon, which the company developed with Durham, N.C.-based biotech firm Trimeris, Reuters reports. Fuzeon has already been approved by the FDA for use in the United States, and the drug will now be available in all 15 E.U. member nations. The drug, which blocks HIV from entering healthy cells, is indicated for use in combination with other antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV-positive patients who are resistant to other medications (Reuters, 5/27). Fuzeon will cost $20,385 per year per patient in Europe, more than double the price of the next most expensive AIDS treatments on the market (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/24). In the United States, the drug costs just less than $20,000 per year per patient, which is a record-setting price for an antiretroviral drug. Roche and Trimeris attribute the drug's high cost to its complex, 106-step manufacturing process (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.