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Long-Acting Antiretrovirals and the Cost of HIV Therapies

Carlos del Rio, MD, discusses advances in long-acting antiretrovirals and the costs associated with HIV therapies.

Segment Description: Carlos del Rio, Co-director, Emory Center for AIDS Research, discusses advances in long-acting antiretrovirals and the costs associated with HIV therapies.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

del Rio: Today, there was a very good session on advances in HIV. And we were heard about long-acting antiretrovirals. We heard about 2 drugs, we have traditionally thought that you need triple therapy but dual therapy may be just as good.

And then we also heard about the importance of the cost of antiretrovirals and the importance of moving to generics and trying to understand the issues of cost. And I think that as clinicians it's something that we just have to begin to understand, we can no longer ignore the cost of health care and ignore the cost of what happens.

I was telling somebody today, when you think that PEPFAR [The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] has been able to get TLD [Tenofovir, Lamivudine, Dolutegravir], for $75 a year, it's amazing, right? And that is why now they’re treating close to 25 million people around the world. If it wasn't for that drop in price, there was no way that they could have treated so many more people with the same flat budget. So we need to think about it the same way, if we're going to end up in the HIV epidemic in the US, what are we going to have to do cost-wise in order to make the drugs available and affordable and to be able to reach even more people that need to be on therapy?