NHS green light for Janssen HIV drug

NHS England will fund Janssen’s HIV combination drug REZOLSTA®▼ (darunavir/cobicistat).

Clinicians across England will now be able to routinely prescribe darunavir – the UK’s most prescribed protease inhibitor2 – combined with a ‘booster’ – in only one tablet to adults living with HIV-1.

The once-daily, fixed-dose combination of darunavir and the pharmacoenhancer, cobicistat▼, is indicated for use in combination with other antiretroviral medications, for treating adults with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) whose virus does not carry darunavir resistance-associated mutations.

In patients for whom drug adherence is an issue, the drug could support their ability to keep to their treatment regime. Fewer than two out of three HIV patients in the UK report 100% adherence after 8 months of treatment and experts believe that this once-daily, fixed-dose combination could help improve adherence by reducing the number of pills that a patient needs to take. Adherence of 95% is the level required to prevent HIV becoming resistant to medication.

Dr Rozlyn Bekker, Medical Director, Janssen UK, said: “By funding treatment, NHS England is making available a treatment option for individuals who require darunavir to effectively control the HIV, but who would potentially also benefit from the convenience of fewer tablets to support their adherence to treatment.”