Generic AIDS Drug Effective - And Now?

Medical Authors and Editors: Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D. and Frederick Hecht, M.D.

July 2, 2004 -- The first clinical trial of a generic combination of drugs for AIDS has demonstrated that the generic combination works as well as band name drugs. The trial will be reported in the July 3 issue of the English medical journal The Lancet.

The Lancet report has important implications for American foreign health policy. "This issue is important because the United States has refused to let the $15 billion that President Bush has committed to fighting AIDS in the third world be used for generic drugs, arguing that there is not enough proof they are effective," noted The New York Times.

The generic combination in the trial consisted of nevirapine, stavudine and lamivudine made by Cipla Ltd. of Mumbai, India. The brand names for these drugs are Viramune, Zerit and Epivir, respectively.