New Drug To Improve HIV Pediatric Care

Medicines Patent Pool, MPP and MERCK, on Friday, announced a licence with MSD, in the United States, for pediatric formulations of raltegravir medicine approved for the use of children, four weeks of age and older, living with HIV.

With the new licence, generic manufacturers and companies based anywhere in the world can develop, manufacture and sell low cost, pediatric versions of raltegravir in countries with the highest burden of the disease where 98% of children living with HIV reside.

Greg Perry, Executive director of MPP said, “We are pleased to have MSD on board as a new private sector partner working with us on pediatric programs.”

He added that “Raltegravir adds to our arsenal of pediatric licences in supporting better options for children in low- and middle-income countries and can benefit the most neglected sub-segment: infants and toddlers less than three years of age.”

Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Representative for Global Health Diplomacy said, “Without antiretroviral treatment, 50% of infants living with HIV/AIDS will die by the age of two, and 80% by the age of five. Affordable pediatric antiretroviral drugs will be needed to scale up treatment and globally put the right medicines in the right formulations and hands of care givers and much applauds to the new MSD license which is part of international efforts to greatly improve the lives of infants and children.”

The World Health Organization, recommends raltegravir as a component of pediatric third-line treatment and approval for infants as young as a month, suggesting, its potential in filling an important gap in pediatric care.

The drugs are available in chewable tablets and granules for consumption.

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