By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com May 16 2003 12:00 AM ET
Trimeris: Most health insurers agree to cover Fuzeon
Dani Bolognesi, the CEO of Trimeris, which along with Roche is marketing the world's first HIV fusion inhibitor Fuzeon, announced this week that most large health insurers have agreed to cover the new medication for their HIV-positive clients, The [Raleigh, N.C.] News & Observer reports. Bolognesi said that 94% of the 142 largest insurance companies in the United States currently cover Fuzeon, which costs about $20,000 for a one-year supply. Additionally, 48 state Medicaid programs and 13 state-run AIDS Drug Assistance Programs also pay for the injectable drug. Fuzeon is the first medication approved in the fusion inhibitor class of medications that work outside immune system cells by preventing HIV from being able to latch on to the cells and infect them. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug on March 13. Roche and Trimeris officials say the high price of the medication, about double that of the next most expensive anti-HIV drug, is justified because of an unusually complex manufacturing process.