Sales of the HIV fusion inhibitor Fuzeon, developed by Trimeris and Roche, are much lower than many industry analysts expected, The [Raleigh, N.C.] News and Observer reports. Fuzeon, the first anti-HIV medication that works by preventing HIV from entering immune system cells, carries an annual price tag of about $20,000. Analysts report that doctors and patients have been more reluctant to prescribe and take the injectable medication because of its high cost. More patients than expected who began Fuzeon treatment also stopped taking the drug, according to reports. The patient drop-out rate has been more than 25%, more than double what had been predicted. Sales of the medication were about 9,000 prescriptions in the fourth quarter of 2003. To increase interest in and sales of the drug, Roche has planned an education campaign for doctors, nurses, and patients as well as post-marketing studies comparing the drug to other anti-HIV treatments.