The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration has approved a new formulation of lopinavir and ritonavir
for children, particularly those under the age of three years. The new
formulation will be utilized globally with the hopes of providing greater
access of life saving antiretrovirals (ARV) to children living with HIV in
The mixture of
lopinavir and ritonavir is a pleasant tasting, heat soluble formula that can be
mixed with food enabling children to more easily and readily consume their
medication. The new formula will be produced by CIPLA, a generic medication
manufacturer in India.
number of new infections among children has decreased more over the past four
years than in the entire preceding decade, HIV-related deaths among children
ages 0-14, have seen only a slow decline globally. This is largely due in part
to a lower degree of access to HIV treatment for children in need (32%),
compared to adults (41%).
UNICEF and UNAIDS
believe this new formula will greatly improve access to ARVs for children and
is a step in the right direction towards saving the lives of a greater number
of HIV-positive children.
If you’ve ever
tried to administer a poor tasting medication to a child, or get them to eat
food they find unpleasant, you can easily understand the importance of this
development. ARVs, which must be taken everyday without fail, can be a daily
challenge for parents of an HIV-positive child and an endless ordeal for the
child. In edition to relieving some of the stress involved in a child’s
medication routine, this new formula helps to ensure missed or partial doses
due to spitting out or spitting up poor tasting medication, does not occur.