China has rolled out an all-in-one HIV drug at the "lowest" selling price compared to neighboring countries.
The new medicine, Triumeq, produced by a joint venture under the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK), became available in China five months after being approved by China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) in August 2017, thepaper.cn reported on Wednesday.
The medicine is being sold at 2,880 yuan ($440) per package in China, which is "the lowest selling price compared to neighboring countries and regions," thepaper.cn reported, citing a staff member from GSK.
Triumeq is a combination of three anti-virus drugs in one pill, and is the only three-in-one antiretroviral drug that contains dolutegravir, according to a GSK report.
Taking one single tablet per day can have the same effect as HAART, a currently widely used treatment that consists of at least three anti-HIV drugs.
However, the disadvantage of HAART is that patients have to take a number of drugs throughout the day, which can impact the effect of the treatment in the long run, an expert from a disease prevention and control center told thepaper.cn.
Single pill drugs can also reduce the number of times people take them, greatly improving the treatment effect, the expert told thepaper.cn.
"I am taking three different drugs every day and suffering from the side effects a lot, such as depression, vomiting and gland hyperplasia," said one netizen named "Wanzhitu" on Sina Weibo.
Triumeq is not listed on the Drug Catalogue of National Basic Medical Insurance, though China has been providing free treatment for people living with HIV, said the report.