A New Drug for People Living with HIV
Kenyan government on Wednesday 28th June announced that it is willing to invest $ 75 million that will be used in the making of an anti- Aids drugs.
The partnership is with the Global Fund, and the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) will produce Dolutegravir (DTG). The new drug is the cheapest version of Tivicay ARV brand. Tivicay is the brand name for DTG’s anti-retroviral (ARV), which is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline through ViiV Healthcare.
The drug will be first administered on 27,000 people living with HIV that include injecting drug users, patients that are intolerant to side effects of current drugs and those in need of third line treatment. DTG will be available at public hospitals and at selected private hospitals like Mater hospital. The new drug has fewer side effects, no counter-interactions with TB medicines and is also effective in prolonging life.
The new drug will be effective in cutting cost for the government as it will cost about $50 per person annually as compared to the cost on free ART drugs which costs the government $200 per person annually.
DTG will be available to Kenyans living with HIV through the Kenyan Ministry of Health and Unitaid- a global health agency. The DTG launch is part of $34 million Optimal ARV project supported by Unitaid and Clinton Health Access Initiative, aimed at accelerating affordable drugs across 11 countries including Malawi and South Africa.
During the launch Kenya was also celebrating 14 years of anti-retroviral treatment.
The drug is also set to be launched in Nigeria and Uganda later on in the year.