Shunned anti-Aids drug to get a facelift
SEE ALSO :Melania Trump to visit Kenya in OctoberA statement released last week by Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, the lead agency in the new project says they will work mainly with women in the three countries to address the concerns. “The patches will be a discreet, easy-to-use technology that contains tiny projections that painlessly penetrate the top layer of skin to deliver the drug,” says the university. Poor adherence The patch, if it works, will overcome the problem of colour, size and rattling while releasing the drug over several weeks or months instead of the current practice of swallowing the pill daily which is a cause for poor adherence. Others in the project are the pharmaceutical companies ViiV Healthcare and LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme AG and the NGOs PATH and Population Council.
SEE ALSO :Tale of Nyanza's sickly water ambulancesSo far data shows only about 13,000 Kenyans have taken up the pill against a Ministry of Health five-year target of 500,000 users. The main driver of Truvada, the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, targets at recruiting about 5,000 users in Kenya in 2018 and about 40,000 in the next few years. Truvada is manufactured by the American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, which reported global sale revenues in excess of $10.2 billion from the drug between 2014 and 2016. The 2016 total sale revenue for Gilead, from all products, is reported at $30.39 billion or slightly more than Sh3 trillion. Health experts are also grappling with the requirement that Truvada users be tested for kidney function at least three times annually which they say could be expensive and burdensome for local health systems.
SEE ALSO :China HIV/AIDS cases surge by 14pcA study published earlier this month by Mugo, among others, suggests that the frequency of kidney testing could be safely reduced to twice annually.