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discontinues marketing of anti-HIV drug Fortovase

discontinues marketing of anti-HIV drug Fortovase

Fortovase pulled from market due to low demand

Following through on plans announced in late 2005, drugmaker Roche on Monday halted U.S. sales of its HIV protease inhibitor Fortovase, citing low demand for the medication. The company also says a newer formulation of the active ingredient in the medication, sold as Invirase, has fewer side effects and a lower pill burden than Fortovase.

"The Fortovase formulation of saquinavir no longer meets the demands of convenience and tolerability expected by patients today," Frederick Schmid, the firm's vice president for virology/HIV, said in a statement. "We have determined that it is time to focus our resources on the availability of Invirase, which offers significant improvements in convenience and gastrointestinal tolerance." (

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