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Progress in development and use of antiviral drugs and interferon. Report of an informal consultation, Geneva, Switzerland, 13-15 March 1995.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Division of Emerging and Other Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control, 1995. 30 p. (WHO/EMC/LTS/95.1)Considerable progress has been made in the development of antiviral agents. Several new compounds have become available to physicians over the past few years and many more are under development. Many of the recently developed agents represent incremental improvements related to improved pharmacokinetic and/or tolerance profiles. One of the reasons behind this progress has been the fight against the epidemic of HIV infection and its sequelae, with a resulting expansion in antiviral drug research. Other viral diseases have benefited from this increased interest, but with these successes problems of toxicity and viral resistance have also been encountered. Although there has been significant progress in the field, much still needs to be done to control and treat viral infections. There is a need to develop more effective vaccines and antiviral agents, to be alert in monitoring resistance and in devising strategies to overcome this problem, and to develop a better understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of many viral infections. An international group of experts met at WHO to assess today's state of the art in this field and to offer recommendations for the future. (excerpt)