The price of antiviral drugs used for the treatment of HIV/AIDS is set to increase as more physicians embrace new, innovative combination medicines, a new report has found.
Researchers found that the cost of annual treatment for HIV/AIDS increased to an average of $12,829 in 2010 from $9,971 in 2002 and is set to continue to rise.
The report noted that the cost of treatment has increased steadily over the past decade after the launch of new combination therapies.
These new treatments are expensive but have demonstrated their worth through impressive efficacy, particularly in patients who have developed a resistance to standard options, and have become the treatment of choice for doctors.
As a result, revenue from the global HIV/AIDS market grew at a compound average growth rate of 10.9% from 2002 to 2010.
This year a number of key brands used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS will lose patent protection. Sustiva and Combivir will go off patent in 2012 after Epivir, Epzicom, Trizivir, Ziagen, Invirase and Lexiva lost protection in either 2010 or 2009.
Whilst generic alternatives have now been made available, it is the use of these combination medications which has seen the market continue to grow.
The market is also expanding, the report found, due to decreasing mortality and increasing treatment-seeking rates, which has encouraged further pharmaceutical innovation.
This innovation has been highlighted with the release of Gilead’s new Quad treatment and late-stage pipeline products including Edurant and Vicriviroc.