Apretude: FDA approves injection to prevent HIV

On December 20, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved world’s first injectable medication for reducing the risk of acquiring HIV.

About Apretude

  • Apretude is an injectable drug. Its generic name is “cabotegravir extended-release injectable suspension”.
  • The drug provides an alternative to daily pills for HIV prevention, like Truvada and Descovy. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDS), these pills are effective up to 99% at preventing the sexual transmission of HIV. However, it must be taken every day to be effective.
  • But to start Apretude, people initially receive two shots, one month apart. Following this, they receive an injection every two months thereafter.
  • This injection will be critical in addressing the HIV epidemic in the U.S. It will also help high-risk individuals and certain groups where daily medication is a major challenge or not a realistic option.

Oral formulation ‘Vocabria’

HIV patients will be given to take an oral formulation of cabotegravir, known as Vocabria, daily for four weeks before starting the injections, in order to see how well they tolerate this drug. Patients are required to be tested for HIV and confirmed negative before starting Apretude. They are also required to be confirmed negative before each injection in order to avoid the risk of developing drug-resistant HIV.

Price of the Apretude

Apretude has a list price of $3,700 per dose. It is expected to ship to wholesalers and specialty distributors in the U.S. in 2022.

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