Truvada Alternative Under Development

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August 20, 2019
Edward Smith

Descovy is the New Truvada Alternative 

Truvada, a popular medication used to both prevent and treat HIV, has been the focus of both the medical and legal communities in recent months. Now, a Truvada alternative may soon be available. The medication is called Descovy and is being developed by Gilead, the company responsible for developing and manufacturing Truvada. Descovy has been promoted to help reduce the risk of acquiring HIV if an individual is exposed to the virus. This is similar to Truvada for PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. The FDA recently approved Descovy by a vote of 16-2, meaning that an alternative to Truvada may soon reach the open market.

Results of a Clinical Trial

The FDA’s decision was based on a clinical trial that was completed for Descovy and Truvada. In the study, individuals were assigned to take either Descovy or Truvada that’s consistent with PrEP treatment. The patients were observed to see whether or not they contracted HIV. Based on the data, the researchers and the FDA concluded that Descovy achieved a “non-inferiority” status. The study showed Descovy is no worse than Truvada when it comes to its effectiveness in PrEP treatment.

Fewer Side Effects than Truvada: Descovy

Descovy proved to be superior to Truvada in one significant way: the side effects. The researchers tracked the patients in the clinical trial to see what kind of side effects they developed while taking the medications. Two of the major side effects regarding Truvada had to do with the kidneys and the bones.

Those who take Truvada for an extended period are at a major risk of developing osteoporosis, or low bone density. This makes them susceptible to developing severe bone fractures. Descovy proved to cause a lower rate of osteoporosis when compared to Truvada.

Truvada can also cause kidney damage. The longer people take this HIV medication, the higher the risk of developing severe kidney failure. Those who progress to end-stage renal disease may require long-term dialysis or even a kidney transplant. Descovy was also shown to cause lower rates of renal failure than Truvada.

The ability for someone to still receive effective HIV PrEP treatment with fewer side effects was a major reason for the approval of Descovy.

A Possible Barrier: The Costs of New Medications

One significant concern regarding Descovy is the cost. Numerous patient advocacy groups have expressed concerns that, despite the clear benefits of Descovy, it might not be worth the price. A brand new medicine is typically protected by its manufacturer for a pre-determined time when it is first released. This includes medications such as Descovy. The cost might prevent people from accessing the medication who really need it.

A generic version of Truvada might be available within the next year. There have been reports that Teva might be prepared to manufacture a Truvada generic as soon as 2020. With a low-cost, generic version of Truvada available, people may want to stick with Truvada instead of paying the prohibitive cost of Descovy.

Suspicious Timing of the Truvada Alternative

Some groups have raised concerns about the timing of Gilead’s release of Truvada and, now, Descovy.  Lawsuits regarding Truvada alleged that Gilead intentionally withheld a Truvada alternative for several years. By withholding this alternative, Gilead would be able to make a lot of money from Truvada before it goes off patent. Then, Gilead can release the new alternative and make big profits off of it as well. As it turns out, this medicine might be Descovy.

It is immoral for a company to withhold an effective treatment for a deadly disease such as HIV simply because they want to rake in record profits.

Watch YouTube Video: New Drug Approved by FDA Fights HIV with Fewer Side Effects. The video below discusses the new HIV alternative drug called Descovy, which has shown to have fewer side effects than Truvada.

Sacramento Truvada Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Truvada Injury Lawyer. If you are taking Truvada and have been diagnosed with medical complications, please contact me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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