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World AIDS Day — America’s Researchers Making A Difference

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:47 am - December 1, 2005.
Filed under: HIV/AIDS

Yes, the evil pharmaceutical companies ARE turning their profits back into research and development. I thought this was an appropriate way to mark World AIDS Day today.

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82 New Medicines Now in Development for HIV/AIDS

Washington, D.C. (November 30, 2005) — Eighty-two new medicines and vaccines are in development to treat HIV/AIDS and related conditions, according to a survey released today by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

December 1, is World AIDS Day. Recent reports show AIDS has killed more than 20 million people and infected an estimated 40 million people worldwide. As many as 1.1 million U.S. residents are estimated to have HIV infection.

“I am greatly encouraged by the many medicines in development to treat HIV/AIDS,” said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin. “PhRMA member companies are leading the search for vaccines and cures for this terrible disease.”

PhRMA’s survey reveals that of the 82 new medicines in development, researchers are studying 18 new vaccines and 36 antivirals. These drugs are either in human clinical trials or are awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration. One of the vaccines is designed to boost the body’s overall immune response to fight HIV; another vaccine candidate forms a protective covering on the surface of the cell, blocking the HIV virus from entering.

Examples of other new HIV/AIDS medicines being researched include:

**A vaccine that combines DNA from the AIDS virus with a protein that boosts the immune response in a disabled cold virus. The vaccine is designed to limit the damage the virus causes rather than prevent infection.

**A gene therapy that uses two novel technologies to boost immune responsiveness against HIV. One technology inserts a new type of genetic material into blood cells to inhibit the growth of the virus. The second integrates new genes into target cells and transfers those cells to the patient.

Eighty-six medicines to treat HIV/AIDS and related conditions have been approved since the virus that causes AIDS was first identified more than 20 years ago; the first such medicine was developed in 1987, just six years after the HIV virus was identified. The increased availability and utilization of newer prescription medicines has helped to reduce the U.S. death rate from AIDS substantially in recent years.

Since the early 1990s, medicines also have significantly reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that since the mid-1990s, when the first protease inhibitors (a class of anti-HIV drugs that prevent HIV-infected cells from producing new copies of the virus) were launched and combination drug therapy was introduced, the U.S. death rate from AIDS has dropped about 70 percent. New treatments have also reduced hospitalization and the total cost of care, according to a 2001 New England Journal of Medicine study.

Despite astounding progress, AIDS remains a devastating and growing worldwide health problem in developing countries, and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, China, Russia and India. An estimated five million new HIV infections occurred worldwide during 2004 – about 14,000 each day – and 3.1 million people worldwide died from the disease, according to the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Since 1998, pharmaceutical companies have contributed more than $4.1 billion to improve health care in the developing world. Projects include building HIV/AIDS clinics, AIDS education and prevention programs, programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and donations of medicines for AIDS and related diseases. Companies also are providing AIDS drugs at significantly reduced prices in 18 countries.

“With HIV/AIDS medicines, a disease that was once a virtual death sentence can now be controlled and treated as if it were a chronic disease,” added Tauzin. “And the new medicines our scientists are working on right now bring hope for even better results in the future.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $38.8 billion in 2004 in discovering and developing new medicines. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures.

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American capitalism and hard-working American people employed in this industry are making the difference. Think about that when you contemplate turning our healthcare system over to the Federal government.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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13 Comments

  1. I have an idea. Why don’t we impugn the very souls of the pharma companies, impose price controls (and/or tax them to death), and thus bomb our whole medical system back to the 1960s?

    Ooops, sorry, I was thinking like a gay Democrat again.

    Comment by Calarato — December 1, 2005 @ 9:35 am - December 1, 2005

  2. #1

    Look at Merck. They’re making so much money, they’re having to close some locations and lay off a bunch of folks.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 1, 2005 @ 1:56 pm - December 1, 2005

  3. Think about that when you contemplate turning our health-care system over to the Federal government.

    The Federal Government is already one of the largest publicly funded health care providers in the world. In fact its the number one provider of AIDS services in the USA as well. All through that little program known as the VA. I don’t notice any GOP’s recommending that we close the VA down because it is socialism, although thats exactly what it is. They (and Democrats too) do cut it’s budget often, when they think no one is looking. And I’ve always wondered why the the GOP has never proposed giving Veteran’s vouchers for medical care, since the level of care provided by the VA has a rather checkered history and this would give them a viable option. If its “the” solution to public schools, then why not the VA?

    While profit motive is not an evil thing, it’s still not always the correct solution. I’m sure there are a lot of things that can be done better by private companies, but there are some things that we simply should be responsible for as a country, as expressed through our government. The VA fits the bill I think. Prisons too I think, but thats another issue.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — December 1, 2005 @ 3:47 pm - December 1, 2005

  4. They (and Democrats too) do cut it’s budget often, when they think no one is looking.

    I know that’s what we’re SUPPOSED to believe, yet somehow it constantly recieves more funding than ever.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 2, 2005 @ 12:51 am - December 2, 2005

  5. They (and Democrats too) do cut it’s budget often, when they think no one is looking

    According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, the 2006 budget for the VA is the largest in history:

    Administration Seeks $70.8 Billion for VA in 2006
    February 7, 2005

    WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson announced today that President Bush will seek a record $70.8 billion in the fiscal year 2006 budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), with the overwhelming majority of these resources targeted for health care and disability compensation

    As far as I can find, the VA budget has increased every year of the Bush administration. I think the same is true regarding AIDS funding.

    Comment by John — December 2, 2005 @ 12:57 am - December 2, 2005

  6. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I have heard that President Bush has at least doubled, if not tripled, AIDS spending over what it was under Clinton.

    Contrary to Gay Left dogma.

    Comment by Calarato — December 2, 2005 @ 3:12 am - December 2, 2005

  7. P.S. As a fiscal conservative and libertarian, I object strongly to Bush (or any President) doing that. I was only noting the situation.

    Comment by Calarato — December 2, 2005 @ 3:14 am - December 2, 2005

  8. #3
    All through that little program known as the VA. I don’t notice any GOP’s recommending that we close the VA down because it is socialism, although thats exactly what it is.

    Could you possibly be more of a dick? The VA is not socialism. Close, but not quite.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 2, 2005 @ 6:59 am - December 2, 2005

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    Comment by sexual health — February 5, 2006 @ 12:56 am - February 5, 2006

  10. i like these kinda of articles…good site..keep it up

    Comment by Rolex Watches — March 13, 2006 @ 4:28 pm - March 13, 2006

  11. Great one !! Keep it up

    Comment by Fragrance — March 28, 2006 @ 9:14 am - March 28, 2006

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    Comment by Prescription Drugs — April 3, 2006 @ 7:11 pm - April 3, 2006

  13. Anybody know how we get an RSS feed for this blog? I am not very tech savvy and would really like to get updated info on this blog. Thanks!

    Comment by Health Care Resources — April 6, 2006 @ 2:23 pm - April 6, 2006

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