Generic AIDS Drugs Work as Well as Brand Name Drugs

The first clinical study of generic AIDS drugs has found that they work as effectively in treating AIDS as the more expensive brand-name versions of the drugs.

The United States has committed $15 billion to fight AIDS, but will not allow any of that money to be spent on generic drugs until they can prove they are as effective as brand name drugs. The World Health Organization and others already purchase and distribute generic AIDS drugs to the developing world.

Researchers followed 60 patines who took a generic version of a pill that combines three different anti-AIDS compounds. Eighty percent of those in the trial saw their virus levels decline to very low levels, consistent with what would be seen with brand-name drugs. Only one patient stopped taking the drug due to side effects.


Study finds generic AIDS drug effective. Donald G. McNeil, Jr., New York Times, July 2, 2004.

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