Friday, July 2, 2004

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)

AIDS update

Voice of America reports on recent research on a generic three-in-one drug to fight AIDS:

A team of French medical researchers say a single dose of an inexpensive AIDS medicine is just as effective as three doses of expensive drugs.

The French national agency for AIDS research published its findings in the British medical journal Lancet.

The generic medicine is manufactured by an Indian pharmaceutical firm.

Doctors gave a single pill containing generic versions of three separate drugs to 60 AIDS patients in the West African nation of Cameroon. The patients took the pill twice a day. Six months later, 80 percent of the patients showed no sign of the virus.

The researchers say the cheap drugs can help the United Nations reach its goal of treating three million HIV-infected people in developing countries by the end of 2005.

Here's a link to the aforementioned Lancet article -- and here's a link to Sally Satel's more pessimistic take on the quality of generics in a Los Angeles Times op-ed.

Meanwhile, the same issue of Lancet has an epidemiological study of HIV trends in sub-Saharan Africa that also offers a modest dollop of good news:

Recent trends in HIV prevalence in women attending antenatal clinics suggest that the epidemic has levelled off since the late 1990s in all countries in Sub-saharan Africa. In eastern Africa, there is an indication of a gradual and modest decline. In western and central Africa there is no consistent evidence of changes in HIV prevalence in recent years and in southern Africa most countries report either a stabilisation or at worst a small increase in HIV prevalence.

posted by Dan on 07.02.04 at 03:01 PM


ms. satel's professional affiliation gives me pause about the fairness of her op-ed.

posted by: fdl on 07.02.04 at 03:01 PM [permalink]

"ms. satel's professional affiliation gives me pause about the fairness of her op-ed."


Let's think about it.

A peer reviewed Paper in the Lancet by a scientific research group.


The views of a psychiatrist who works for the AEI
as written for a newspaper.

I can't see why there's even a smidgen of doubt about Ms Satels views.

posted by: kenny on 07.02.04 at 03:01 PM [permalink]

“I can't see why there's even a smidgen of doubt about Ms Satels views.”

That’s right. One wonders if the poster fdl might be a reporter for the New York times or Washington Post. This is how they often deal with conservative commentators.

Much of the AIDS fight is hindered by the high illiteracy rate of the Third world. Even in the United States, perhaps the largest numbers of these victims are marginally to functionally illiterate. Can we ever eliminate AIDS without also eliminating illiteracy? I don’t think so.

posted by: David Thomson on 07.02.04 at 03:01 PM [permalink]

That's what makes the AEI so wonderful, they have "fellows" who are usually complete idiots. This is extremely transparent whenever they try to write an op-ed on something technical (like voting machines, or drugs) -- where its much harder to hide incompetent idealogical bias. This story really isn't that amazing -- all the hard work in drug development is in R&D -- finding the chemicals that work. Once you know the chemicals, anyone can produce them for peanuts. The manufacturing processes are all standardized, generics are 99.99% of the time just as effective as the brand-name.

At least Satel has an MD from somehwere (I'd wonder where, given her arguments). A few weeks ago some idiot from the AEI with a Phd in ECONOMICS was arguing that Diebold machines are safe -- and if you have no background in cs or stats you might be stupid enough to believe him. Of course if you took a single class in either subject in college, it was pretty clear he was full of it. That and its been documented elsewhere, b y people hwo know what they tare talkinga bout like, like in transactions oft he IEEE.

Whenever I see them publish pure crap in somethingl ike medicine or cs (two fields I know quite a bit about), it makes me pretty sure they are probably talking straight out of their ass when they publish something on anything.

posted by: Jor on 07.02.04 at 03:01 PM [permalink]

Hi, I noticed you were talking about HIV/AIDS on this site. If you'd like to submit your page to SH Directory, please do ;-) (

posted by: HIV/AIDS on 07.02.04 at 03:01 PM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?