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Foundation slams pricing of Prezista

AIDS Healthcare
Foundation slams pricing of Prezista

The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation is blasting drugmaker Tibotec, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, for what it says is an expected high price tag for the newly approved protease inhibitor Prezista, which is designed to treat drug-resistant HIV infections. The Food and Drug Administration approved Prezista on Friday. AHF says it expects Tibotec to price Prezista well above the cost of other protease inhibitors--as much as $26 per day or nearly $9,500 annually. And given that Prezista requires a small booster dose of Norvir, a protease drug whose price was quadrupled by drugmaker Abbott Laboratories in 2004, the cost of Prezista treatment could be alarmingly high, AHF says.

"We salute Tibotec for the development of this promising new HIV/AIDS drug and urge them to price this lifesaving medicine fairly," says Michael Weinstein, AHF president, in a press statement. "As with many AIDS drugs before it, we anticipate that the cost of Prezista will simply be out of the price range for most AIDS patients and threatens to further stress Medicaid and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs nationwide, many of which already have waiting lists." (The Advocate)

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