The Lancet Infectious Disease
Jul 2012 Volume 12 Number 7 p497 – 576
Optimising the manufacture, formulation, and dose of antiretroviral drugs for more cost-efficient delivery in resource-limited settings: a consensus statement
Keith W Crawford, David H Brown Ripin, Andrew D Levin, Jennifer R Campbell, Charles Flexner, for the participants of The Conference on Antiretroviral Drug Optimization
It is expected that funding limitations for worldwide HIV treatment and prevention in resource-limited settings will continue, and, because the need for treatment scale-up is urgent, the emphasis on value for money has become an increasing priority. The Conference on Antiretroviral Drug Optimization—a collaborative project between the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—brought together process chemists, clinical pharmacologists, pharmaceutical scientists, physicians, pharmacists, and regulatory specialists to explore strategies for the reduction of antiretroviral drug costs. The antiretroviral drugs discussed were prioritised for consideration on the basis of their market impact, and the objectives of the conference were framed as discussion questions generated to guide scientific assessment of potential strategies. These strategies included modifications to the synthesis of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and use of cheaper sources of raw materials in synthesis of these ingredients. Innovations in product formulation could improve bioavailability thus needing less API. For several antiretroviral drugs, studies show efficacy is maintained at doses below the approved dose (eg, efavirenz, lopinavir plus ritonavir, atazanavir, and darunavir). Optimising pharmacoenhancement and extending shelf life are additional strategies. The conference highlighted a range of interventions; optimum cost savings could be achieved through combining approaches.