THE battle against the dreaded AlDs disease may yet be won. The Food and
Drug Administration in the us recently
approved a new class of drugs which
inhibits the ability of the HIV virus to
cause the disease. Manufactured by
Hoffman-La Roche Inc of Nutley in New
Jersey, the drug Sacluinavir, belongs to
the protease inhibitor group. Protease
is an important enzyme which aids the
reproduction of the HIV virus. The new
drug whose trade name is Invirase prevents the action of the enzyme and
thus suppresses the disease. A day's
dose of Invirase will cost US $15 89 and
includes 600 gm capsules to be taken
thrice a day.
Hoffman-La Roche promise to have the drug on the pharmacy shelves in the shortest possible time and have also announced a financial assistance programme for those who are unable to afford the drug. The drug has minimal side effects, say its manufacturers.
It has also shown the ability to stop the crucial immune system cells, called CD-4 from declining in number and also increase its count in some patients. Further, it appears to reduce the total amount of virus present in a patient's body.
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