HIV drug companies must meet needs of children.
Charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called on pharmaceutical companies to develop low-cost and user-friendly versions of antiretroviral drugs for HIV-infected children. "Some do produce AIDS drugs for the youngest with the virus, but the forms that these drugs come in are incredibly difficult to use in resource-poor settings and are extremely expensive", Felipe Garcia de la Vega of MSF explained. MSF complained that paediatric formulations of antiretroviral drugs on the market are mostly in syrup form, taste foul, and need refrigeration. These factors, the charity said, make them virtually useless in many of the settings it works in. "We need affordable drugs that are easy to use and come in varying sizes, so that caregivers can easily give children the doses they need as they grow. Otherwise it will be exceedingly difficult to treat all of the children with HIV/AIDS that desperately need antiretrovirals", Vega said. (excerpt)