FDA looks into HIV treatment pill - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

FDA looks into HIV treatment pill

AMARILLO- The Food and Drug Administration is considering endorsing the drug Truvada as a preventative pill to stopping HIV.

The drug has been on the market since 2004.

"Truvada is used specifically for patients who have the HIV disease," Dr. Scott Milton with the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center said.

Its maker, Gilead Sciences is now asking the FDA to approve its use for people who are at risk for contracting HIV.

"It's the first tool that has come along in many years," he said. "It may have a big impact."

Right now, Truvada is only used with patients that are HIV positive. It's said to be about 90-percent effective at controlling the virus from spreading.

But now, the possibility of marketing the pill as a preventative measure may open the door for future problems.

"There could be a cause for concern if people begin looking upon this drug as a reason fo0r them not to be careful about what their behaviors are," Milton said. 

While many have labeled this drug a medical breakthrough in the world of science, Milton says it's not a magic pill.

Without insurance, a yearly prescription will cost around $14,000.

The FDA is expected to announce its final decision on Truvada's approval for the pre-treatment of HIV in September.

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