South African company, Aspen Pharmacare, received a boost this week on news that it had become the first company to win tentative approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for a co-packaged generic AIDS drug combination.

The company filed its dossier with the agency on January 13 this year, and the review was completed within two weeks, as part of a plan to speed up the approval process for copycat versions of drugs to treat HIV and AIDS and make them available at reduced prices to millions of people in the developing world [[18/05/04e]].

The tentatively approved regimen consists of co-packaged versions of GlaxoSmithKline’s Combivir (lamivudine plus zidovudine), and Boehringer-Ingelheim’s Viramune (nevirapine).