GLAXO SAYS HIV DRUG PROBLEMS WELL KNOWN
Reuters 21 August 2000
London -- Pharmaceuticals company Glaxo Wellcome Plc confirmed a
press report Sunday saying that its HIV treatment drug Ziagen can spark
serious and sometimes fatal reactions in patients, but said the problems
were well known.
An unknown number of patients have died as a result of so-called
hypersensitivity reactions to Ziagen, which was launched in the United
States and Europe last year.
Glaxo said about four percent of patients showed some susceptibility to
But a spokesman said the company had always kept doctors and patients
informed of the possible side-effects, even before the drug was licensed.
"This has been so well documented that it is very well known, especially
within the HIV community,'' he said.
He said that as the number of people using the drug grew and they were
carefully monitored, it was hoped that the proportion of adverse reactions
could be brought down.
All treatments of the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV), which leads to
acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), are very potent drugs.
Glaxo's HIV drugs -- from the late 1980s Retrovir to its most recent ones,
Ziagen and Agenerase -- together account for a third of the market and
sales are growing.