Drugs help AIDS patients

April 1, 1997

Pharmaceutical Representative

With 42 approved medicines now available for AIDS and its opportunistic infections and 122 others in development, scientists are becoming increasingly optimistic about turning the disease into a manageable condition, according to an official at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Washington.

With 42 approved medicines now available for AIDS and its opportunistic infections and 122 others in development, scientists are becoming increasingly optimistic about turning the disease into a manageable condition, according to an official at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Washington.

"With new protease inhibitor drugs, HIV content in blood has been lowered in some patients by up to 99%," said John Siegfried, M.D., deputy vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs. "As President Clinton recently noted, new medicines have doubled the life expectancy of people with HIV over the last four years."

Siegfried emphasized that "the variety and usefulness of today's new AIDS medicines are improving. In addition to protease inhibitors, scientists are developing new immunomodulator drugs to strengthen the body's immune system. Ten immunomodulators are being tested in both healthy volunteers and patient volunteers."

Scientists are also testing 13 new vaccines that could either prevent or treat HIV infection, as well as 37 pharmaceutical products that fight opportunistic infections and AIDS-related cancers. More than forty antiviral medicines and four gene therapies are also in development. PR