Hard on the heels of its recent European approval [[23/12/04c]], GlaxoSmithKline has launched its new combination tablet for HIV, Kivexa (lamivudine and abacavir sulfate), in the UK and Germany. The launch extends GSK’s franchise in HIV medications and answers the continuing need for new products that combine multiple drugs into simpler dosing regimens, to improve compliance and reduce the risk that the virus will develop resistance to treatment.

The fixed dose product contains the active ingredients found in GSK’s Epivir (lamivudine) and Ziagen (abacavir sulfate) and is being positioned as a once-daily antiretroviral that can form the basis of a number of treatment combinations. The drug is suited to this “backbone” role, says GSK, because it can be delivered in one tablet dosed once a day, and patients do not need to worry about taking it along with food or fluid. It will complement GSK’s other combination products, Combivir (lamivudine and zidovudine) and Trizivir (abacavir, lamivudine and zidovudine)

A spokesperson for GSK told PharmaTimes News Online that Kivexa has been available under the Epzicom trade name in the US since August [[03/08/04f]], and is also launched in Canada. Other introductions in Europe will follow over the coming weeks, subject to pricing negotiations in some countries.

In the UK, the product is priced at £373.94 for a pack of thirty fixed-dose, film-coated tablets containing 600mg of abacavir sulfate and 300mg of lamivudine.