Gilead’s Descovy is the Latest FDA-Approved Drug to Prevent HIV Infection

by Stephen Riddle
Gilead’s Descovy is the Latest FDA-Approved Drug to Prevent HIV Infection

On Thursday, the US FDA has approved Gilead Sciences Inc’s Descovy drug. It is the second medicine that will assist in preventing HIV infections. Notably, the medication will help in lessening the risk of infection in men who have sex with men, including transgender women. The approval from the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t include the use of the drug by women. Thus females cannot use the latest medicine to prevent HIV infection. Patients who have HIV already take Descovy. Now, after Thursday’s approval, the company has gained permission to market the drug as a next-generation prevention drug for HIV.

In 2016, the company had gained approval for Descovy as a combination drug to treat people existing with HIV infection. Whereas, Truvada, a previous drug from Gilead, has been used in treating HIV patients from 2004. After that, in 2012, Truvada had gained approval as a regular pill for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). It is a way for people who do not have HIV but are at an excessive risk of getting the disease. The manufacturer said it intends to alter PrEP use from Truvada to Descovy before the previous drug loses legal safeguards. Unlike Truvada, Descovy is a daily pill which can reduce the circulation of HIV by up to 95%. Gilead said, currently, Truvada and Descovy both are available at a sticker price of $1,758 per month.

Jeffery Murray, Deputy Director of FDA’s Division of Antiviral Products, said PrEP dugs are extremely efficient when taken as mentioned over the label. As per the executive, those daily pills can avoid HIV infection. As per the CDC, more than 38,000 people, in the US, have confirmed having HIV in 2017. On the other hand, the FDA says, they intend to lessen the emergence of HIV infection by 75% in the upcoming five years. Even more, the federal agency aims to reduce it by 90% in the forthcoming decade. Eventually, the goal is to prevent approximately 250,000 new cases of the sexually-spread infection.

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