See how an innovative, heat-stable antiretroviral (ARV) is changing HIV/AIDS treatment.
In developing countries where electricity is unpredictable, refrigeration tends to be scarce. HIV/AIDS, on the other hand, may be all too common. For the millions living with HIV/AIDS in places such as sub-Saharan Africa, a lack of refrigeration once meant a lack of access to antiretroviral medicines.
This is because Ritonavir, one of the three different medicines required for one important HIV/AIDS treatment regimen, breaks down if not refrigerated. Ritonavir is used to enhance the performance of protease inhibitors, such as Lopinavir, another medicine used in HIV/AIDS treatment regimens.
The question we asked was: “Can we make an affordable, heat-stable version of Ritonavir accessible in sufficient quantities to people in the developing world?” The answer was: “Yes”.
We developed a high-quality generic Ritonavir that is heat-stable and approved by the World Health Organization as part of a second-line treatment option for people who have developed a resistance to first-line HIV/AIDS treatment. Today, the medicine is available in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin and Central America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.
Our efforts allowed us to increase access to this high-quality medicine and at the same time fulfil a commitment we made to former President Bill Clinton to lower the price of second-line treatment for HIV/AIDS in developing countries.