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Cost of Antivirals for HIV/AIDS Set to Increase

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Antiviral drugs for HIV/AIDS patients will become more expensive as doctors embrace new, highly-priced combination treatments, according to a new report by pharmaceutical industry experts GBI Research.

The new report shows that, in 2002, the annual treatment for HIV/AIDS cost an average of $9,971. This grew substantially at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2% to $12,829 in 2010.

Correspondingly, revenue from the global HIV/AIDS therapeutics market grew at a CAGR of 10.9% during 2002-2010.

The annual cost of treatment for HIV/AIDS has increased steadily over the past decade, due to the launch of new combination therapies.

One example is the new, multi-class combination drug Atripla, a form of Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART).

Sales of Atripla have soared over the last three years, demonstrating a CAGR of 136%. These expensive treatments have proven their worth through impressive efficacy, particularly in patients who have developed a resistance to other HIV/AIDS drugs.

This year will see the patent expiries of key drugs such as Sustiva and Combivir, while other medications such as Epivir, Epzicom, Trizivir, Ziagen, Invirase and Lexiva went off-patent in 2009 and 2010.

However, it is thought that the impact of new generics will be partially offset by increasing use of new and more expensive drug treatments.

The HIV/AIDS therapeutics market is expanding, due to decreased mortality and increasing treatment-seeking rates, which has encouraged further pharmaceutical innovation.

Gilead filed a New Drug Application (NDA) for Quad, a combination of Gilead’s pipeline candidate Elvitegravir, Cobicistat and its currently marketed HIV drug Truvada.

Late-stage pipeline drugs Edurant and Vicriviroc are also expected to enter the market during the forecast period, and will act as future drivers for growth.