A Sydney research centre has been given an $18 million grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to test the effectiveness of HIV drugs in smaller and cheaper dosages.
The answer could remove one barrier to providing drugs to the millions of HIV positive people in economically developing countries, as well as cut the cost of drug subsidies in Australia.
The large-scale study will be conducted by the National Centre for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the University of NSW involving thousands of HIV positive people in 30 countries.
Professor Sean Emery, who will head the study, said common dosages were thought to be too high, but virus mutations were a risk if dosages were too low.
This is an important question, and there is too much history of important questions being answered in small trials that even in the aggregate don’t give you the right answer, he told Sydney Star Observer.
Of course I’d like to see a finding that said basically some of these drugs are dosages that could be pared back.
The consequences of that is that for a finite set of resources you could treat far more people effectively and safely.