List of Vital and Essential Medicines is Expanded with New HIV Treatments

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The updated list of vital and essential medicines will include Dolutegravir, Maraviroc, and the pediatric version of Raltegravir.

On the 4th of September a meeting of the Committee on Vital and Essential Medicines was held at which a EVA representative was present. The issue of including treatment for HIV and chronic hepatitis C in the list of medicines was considered.

The updated list of vital and essential medicines includes treatment for HIV infection such as Dolutegravir (Tivicay), Maraviroc (Celsentri), and the pediatric version (chewable pills) of Raktegravir (Isentress). Neither Emtricitabine+tenofovir (Truvada) nor Efavirenz+emtricitabine+tenofovir (Atripla) will be included in the list.

It is a shame that the three component treatment Atripla, which is one pill that can be taken just once per day, was not included in the updated list of vital and essential medicines. But the positive news is that the pediatric version of Raktegravir, which helps with adherence among young patients with HIV, was added.

Regarding chronic hepatitis C, the following medications have been added to the updated list:

Viekira Pak (paritaprevir/ritonavir/ombitasvir/dasabuvir), which is taken to treat genotype 1 viral hepatitis C including patients with compensated cirrhosis of the liver,

Daklinza (Daclatasvir), which is taken in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin to treat patients with genotypes 1 and 4 of the virus,

Narlaprevir, which is taken in combination with ritonavir, pegylated interferon and ribavirin by patients with genotype 1 of the virus.

The list does not include medication such as Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) or Sunvepra (asunaprevir). The former was not included because of the formality that it is too expensive.

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