July 20, 2009
Patients taking Boehringer Ingelheim's HIV drug Viramune have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those taking Bristol-Myers Squibb's treatment, Reyataz, according to a study released on Monday at the 5th International AIDS Society conference in Cape Town, South Africa, Reuters reports. "The drug trial, involving 569 participants, yielded that Viramune, while being as effective at suppressing HIV as Bristol Myers' blockbuster Reyataz, had a more favourable effect on patients' cardiovascular risks, as measured by certain blood lipids," the article states. The study found that "Viramune-treated patients ... had more than twice the level of HDL cholesterol, known as 'good cholesterol' for its beneficial effect on blood vessels, than those on Reyataz, Boehringer said in a statement," Reuters reports. The article adds that advances in antiretroviral drugs have helped make HIV a "treatable chronic condition," and "as a result, patients are growing older, bringing other symptoms of an HIV infection, such as cardiovascular diseases, to the fore" (Burger, Reuters, 7/20).