Drug companies agree to continue research into anti-HIV drug complications

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com December 24 2002 12:00 AM ET

Several major pharmaceutical companies agreed last week to fund for at least one more year research into a possible connection between HIV antiretroviral drugs and cardiac and metabolic complications. The announcement came after several AIDS activists and advocacy groups in November voiced concern that research would end before scientists could gather enough data.

The European AIDS Treatment Group had expressed its concerns to the Steering Committee for the Evaluation of the Metabolic Complications of Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment, an international committee made up of drug company representatives and researchers formed to evaluate the potential long-term side effects of anti-HIV medications.

Research to examine possible links between antiretroviral drugs and metabolic complications began in 1999. The studies are attempting to determine the connection between anti-HIV medications and possible side effects-related conditions like mitochondrial toxicity, lipodystrophy, blood lipid increases, diabetes, and heart problems.