Badpuppy Gay Today

Monday, 28 April, 1997

AIDS ACTION EXEC BLASTS COMPLACENCY DUE TO NEW DRUGS

"AIDS TREATMENT NEWS" TELLS OF NEW DRUGS ON MARKET


DELAVIRDINE APPROVED: NEW ANTIVIRAL DRUG


Compiled from Reports by GayToday



 

AIDS ACTION EXECUTIVE BLASTS COMPLACENCY DUE TO NEW DRUGS

While rumors currently circulate about promising new AIDS drug developments, AIDS Action's executive director, Daniel Zingale, told a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee this month that while new AIDS drug therapies are improving daily living for many, that the AIDS epidemic is far from over.

Zingale explained the importance of maintaining federal AIDS program funding through fiscal 1998, keeping intact the government's commitment to AIDS research, care, prevention and education. He credited difficult choices and thoughtful investing with helping to put dents in AIDS death rates, causing an "unprecedented sense of hope."

"If we invest in today's hope," said Zingale, "in HIV prevention and education, in the care provided by Ryan White, and in the National Institutes of Health to take us to the next level of research breakthroughs--we may be able to take pride in having helped to bring about a true end to the AIDS epidemic sooner than anyone believed possible."

The AIDS Action executive argued that Congress should demonstrate its commitment to ensure that new hope touches the lives of all Americans by increasing funding for federal AIDS programs. He outlined the following needs:

* Research. AIDS Action recommends a $134.5 million increase over FY97 funding for AIDS-related biomedical and behavioral research at the National Institutes of Health.

* Ryan White Care Act. AIDS Action proposes a $393.9 million increase over FY97 funding for medical, social service and training programs provided through the Ryan White CARE Act.

* Prevention and Education. AIDS Action proposes a $212 million increase over FY97 funding for the Center for Disease Control's prevention and education programs.

* Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment. AIDS Action proposes a $140 million increase over FY97 funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Blockgrant at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

For more information E-mail the AIDS Action Council: HN3384@handsnet.org

"AIDS TREATMENT NEWS" TELLS OF NEW DRUGS ON MARKET

While scientists have, at long last, made a photographic representation of the protein fragment that enables the AIDS virus to invade human cells--a feat with immediate implications for new drug design--new AIDS drugs continue to be placed on the market. The longest-lived and a most reputable source of news about such developments are available in AIDS TREATMENT NEWS published by John James, a longtime research specialist with voluminous knowledge about experimental and standard treatments. James' interviews with physicians, scientists, other health professionals and persons with AIDS or HIV, as well as his reports carefully gathered, have kept pace with AIDS treatment through a full decade. "Longtime survivors," said James, "have usually tried many different treatments, and found combinations which work for them. AIDS TREATMENT NEWS does not recommend particular drugs, but seeks to increase the options available.

Though James' long-running accounts of drug therapy have been available without charge through the Internet, his work is supported only by subscriptions. "We ask those in a position to do so to consider helping us meet expenses by subscribing to the printed edition of the newsletter, he says, available world-wide by first class mail/airmail. One can also purchase a gift subscription for an individual, library, or other institution. Annual subscriptions are $100 individual, $115 nonprofit, and $230 business, payable by check, credit card or purchase order. To subscribe, call the AIDS TREATMENT NEWS office, 1-800-TREAT-1-2, or 415-255-0588, 10 AM. to 4 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Friday.

DELAVIRDINE APPROVED: NEW ANTIVIRAL DRUG

Among the latest and least-known antiviral drugs, approved earlier this month by the United States Food and Drug Administration, is Delavirdine (brand name Rescriptor) the second in a new class of such drugs, called NNRTI's (which stands for non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors). It is the only NNRTI to be approved for use with protease inhibitors, according to Rob Sabatos of ACT UP's Golden Gate Writer's Pool. The first NNRTI, nevirapine (veramune), was approved in June, 1996, only for use with nucleoside analogs such as AZT.

This new drug, according to John James' AIDS TREATMENT NEWS, is "for the treatment of HIV-infection in combination with appropriate antiretroviral agents when therapy is warranted." James says that this drug, developed by Pharmacia & Upjohn of Kalamazoo, Michigan, "must be used in antiretroviral combinations, because when it was tried alone, the virus developed 50-fold to 500-fold reduced sensitivity within eight weeks, in 14 of the 15 patients in that trial. HIV which is resistant to delavirdine is likely to be cross resistant to nevirapine and other non-nucleoside RT inhibitors; however, cross resistance is unlikely with protease inhibitors, or with nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors, or with nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (AZT, ddI, etc.).

"The main side effect of delavirdine is skin rash," says AIDS TREATMENT NEWS. "Rash attributed to the drug has occurred in 18% of patients in phase II and III controlled trials, and has been severe enough to cause permanent discontinuation of delavirdine treatment in 4.3%" of the patients.

Certain drugs must not be combined with delavirdine; others, including some protease inhibitors, probably require dose adjustments.

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