Roche Pharmaceuticals

4 out of 5 Eligible Patients Missing Opportunity to Benefit From Latest HIV Breakthrough

    BANGKOK, Thailand, July 12 (ots/PRNewswire) -


      - Healthcare professionals and patients map out steps towards
optimal use of FUZEON(R)


      Despite the clear benefits for patients and the high rates of
resistance in the west, new research has shown that currently only 1
out of 5 eligible patients is benefiting from the latest HIV
breakthrough, FUZEON(R) (enfuvirtide or T-20)(1), primarily due to
the need to inject the drug. At  the International AIDS Conference in
Bangkok today, new guidance will be presented on how healthcare
professionals and patients can work together to effectively
incorporate FUZEON into patients' daily treatment routine.


      "FUZEON is a revolutionary therapy and for the majority of
patients the significant improvements in health far outweigh the
burden of the injection. It is alarming that many of these patients
offered FUZEON are not accepting the offer due to the fear of
injection and are missing out on the modern era of HIV therapy,"
comments Professor Joep Lange, President of the International AIDS
Society.


      Comprehensive FUZEON benefits seen by 3 months and maintained at
2  years(2)


      Dramatic FUZEON virological benefits can be seen as early as 1
week. Within just 3 months, FUZEON patients are twice as likely to
achieve undetectable levels of HIV compared to those who are not
taking FUZEON. Furthermore, data show these benefits are maintained
at 2 years. FUZEON patients also reported approximately half the
incidence of diarrhoea, a common and often debilitating side effect
associated with HIV therapy.


      "We urge physicians and nurses to work closely with their
patients during the first 3 months of FUZEON therapy, by which time
dramatic benefits should be seen and self injection should have
become routine," comments Dr Mike Youle, Royal Free Hospital, London.


      The pivotal role of physicians and nurses


      "It is essential that, as physicians, we present FUZEON to all
triple class experienced patients, balancing the remarkable
improvements in viral load, CD4 count and quality of life, with the
need for self-injection. Our challenge is to identify ways in which
we can improve the offer of FUZEON to help patients understand how
FUZEON could improve their quality of life and in all likelihood live
longer as a result of sustained viral suppression," concludes Dr
Youle.


      Nurses have a pivotal role in helping patients to understand the
offer of FUZEON and incorporate injections into their daily lives.
Dominick Varsalone, a nurse from the North Jersey Community Research
Initiative, New Jersey, comments: "The true success of our
empowerment programme can be gauged by the fact that, of the 64
patients prescribed FUZEON in our clinic since drug launch, 91% are
still on FUZEON. My FUZEON patients are greatly motivated by the
improvements in their health, sometimes just a week after beginning
therapy. FUZEON experienced patients are also providing invaluable
support and practical advice for new patients beginning FUZEON
therapy."


      Roche's continued commitment to patients


      Roche has activities under way in all countries where FUZEON is
available to help educate and support patients with their therapy.
These include nurse-to-patient and patient-to-patient support
initiatives to help coach patients through the first 3 critical
months of therapy to provide their best chance for sustained success
with FUZEON.


      A closer look at the 96 week data


      A closer look at the 96 week data confirm that FUZEON based
regimens continue to provide a significant, durable response to
pre-treated HIV patients over 2 years of treatment. The safety
profile was confirmed with no changes in the adverse event profile
between 1 and 2 years of therapy. Consistent and continuous
improvements in immune strength were seen in FUZEON patients over 96
weeks. FUZEON patients remained twice as likely to show undetectable
HIV as those patients who did not receive FUZEON. In addition, more
than half of patients who received FUZEON completed 2 years of
treatment.


      HIV resistance - "ticking time bomb" in the west


      "There is a disturbing misconception that 'access for all' is
just a challenge for the developing world. Access to optimal
combination therapy remains an urgent issue in the west where
alarming levels of resistance to HIV therapies is a ticking time
bomb. While people continue to die from AIDS in the western world -
with more than 15,000 patients dying in the US in 2003 alone - there
is an urgent need to use all drugs currently available to provide the
most effective combination treatment for patients," commented
Professor Lange.


      References:


      1) Data on file, survey conducted in UK, France and US 2004


      2) Arastéh et al. XV IAC Bangkok, Thailand, 2004. Abstract
MoOrB1058


ots Originaltext: Roche Pharmaceuticals
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.newsaktuell.ch

Contact:
For more information, please contact: Alexander Watson, Ketchum,
Mobile: +44 7712 675 990 E-Mail: Alexander.watson@ketchum.com Janet
Sanburg, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Mobile: +41 79 255 9414 Email:
Janet.sanburg@roche.com



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