GlaxoSmithKline in late July contacted health care providers across the country to inform them that the combination of the company's anti-HIV drugs Epivir (3TC) and Ziagen with Gilead Sicences' Viread appears to be significantly less potent than other combinations of anti-HIV medications. The company wrote that a high rate of early virologic nonresponse was seen among HIV-positive people taking that combination of antiretrovirals in a Glaxo-sponsored clinical study of a new 3TC-Ziagen combination pill.
Based on early study results, Glaxo does not recommend the use of 3TC and Ziagen in combination with Viread for either treatment-naive or treatment-experienced patients. The company also recommends that any patients currently taking this combination of drugs be closely watched for signs of treatment failure and that patients on this combination be evaluated for a possible regimen change. Glaxo terminated the 3TC-Ziagen-Viread arm of the study based on the preliminary treatment failure data.