Pedro Cahn, MD, Chief, Infectious Disease Unit, Juan A. Fernandez Hospital; and lead study investigator for the onceMRK Phase 3 clinical trial, explains the new formulation of raltegravir HD.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability):
“We have been using raltegravir for the last 10 to 12 years, or so; it is a drug that we know perfectly well. It is extremely safe, [and is] the only integrase inhibitor that does not carry any kind of drug-drug interactions. It has been approved for use in adults, pediatrics, and eventually, even infants from 4 weeks old onwards, which makes it really unique. It is also listed as a preferred drug for pregnant women, for instance, in the AIDS HHS guidelines.
The background that this compound had is that it has to be used twice-a-day. Which is not a big deal, but some patients do not like to take medicines twice-a-day; they might forget some of the doses. And so, now, we have a new formulation. Instead of 2 pills at 400 mg each, [they will take] 2 pills of 600 mg each. The pills can be taken together, once-a-day. [The patient] can take these 2 pills, together with a fixed-dose combination of, for instance, tenofovir FTC, or abacavir 3TC, and with 3 pills, once-a-day, [the patient] has their treatment.
It’s very effective and safe, and we know the drug.”
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