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Protease inhibitors–pros and cons

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 15 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:835
  1. John Nicholson, medical director, George House Trust–Voluntary Action on HIV Trust–Voluntary Action on HIV

    Recent press coverage has highlighted possible funding consequences for community and healthcare services if health authorities' allocations for treating people with HIV are consumed by new drugs, especially the expensive protease inhibitors.

    There must, however, be a careful debate. The possibility of a medical breakthrough, enabling the symptoms caused by HIV to be delayed or even reversed, must be welcomed for people with HIV. The willingness of purchasers to fund treatment, based on clinical need and patient preference, is similarly welcome. At the same time, it is important to restate themes which have been around since HIV was identified in Britain.

    Firstly, informed choice is still vital, just as it has always been. The protease inhibitors, combination therapies, and other drug treatments do not themselves add up

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