The results were extremely positive
Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) March 7, 2006
FLAVORx, Inc, the company that sets the gold standard in developing scientifically tested medicinal flavorings has expanded its pharmaceutical repertoire to include antiretroviral medications used to treat patients with HIV and AIDS. The company will use its proprietary taste masking agents to improve the existing taste of these medications to increase adherence to drugs and, as a result of improved treatment, lengthen lives. According to Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization, efforts to treat children with HIV and AIDS are hampered by foul-tasting medications. Regardless of a child’s obedience or willingness, in some cases the intolerable taste of a medication will illicit a biological and uncontrollable response that forces rejection of the medication. Many children that are HIV positive do not understand why they must endure a horrible tasting medication when they don’t feel bad. Alternatively, caretakers realize the importance of a life-saving antiretroviral medication but find it extremely difficult to administer to children. This illustrates the point that taste alone can impede a child from receiving treatment necessary for his/her survival.
The World Health Organization estimated that at the end of 2005, 2.3 million children around the world were living with HIV. Of the 3.1 million people who died of AIDS last year, over half a million were children aged below 15 years. These statistics are a sobering reflection of the impact of HIV and AIDS on young lives. During 2005, it is estimated that 700,000 children globally were newly infected with HIV. More than 80% of infections occurred in Africa, with countries in Asia and the Caribbean also seeing an increase in HIV infection numbers among children. Sadly, global child mortality rates show that 25% of newborns infected with HIV die before the age of one, up to 60% die before reaching their second birthday, and most die before they hit the age of five. However, as reported by the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, these numbers are markedly different in higher-income countries, with children having access to a wide range of treatment options and often surviving into adulthood. Accordingly, with the proper treatment and resources available in lower-income countries, the world may be able to avoid high rates of infection and death. Critical medications are essential to health and survival.
Zidovudine (Retrovir), an antiretroviral medication manufactured by both GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) and Cipla Pharmaceuticals, was the first drug approved to treat HIV infection, and is commonly recommended for treatment of symptomatic children. The taste is regarded as bitter and metallic, unbearable to the point that some actually stop taking the medication. The consequences of this non-compliance can be life-threatening.
Children have up to 10 times the amount of taste buds as adults, making them much more sensitive to bitter tastes. As reported by Duke University doctors Susan Schiffman and Jennifer Zervakis, the reason why patients fail to take life saving drugs as prescribed may largely be attributed to taste.
The HIV-Netherlands Amsterdam Thailand Research Collaboration recently completed clinical trials with FLAVORx on major antiretroviral medications used for pediatric treatment in Thailand. With each medication and flavor combination tested for safety and effectiveness, FLAVORx developed successful formulations to mask the taste of antiretroviral medications. “The results were extremely positive,” said Kenny Kramm, CEO of FLAVORx, Inc. “We had 100% compliant and much happier pediatric patients who were able to take the proper dosages and follow drug regimens successfully.” The manuscripts have been submitted to the CDC, the Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal and the Clinton Foundation for publishing as a recommendation that flavoring be used in all parts of the world to help HIV-infected children live happier, less traumatic lives. The report also asks for assistance to support impoverished countries.
Based on the experience and data collection from Thailand, FLAVORx is currently working on expanded clinical trials in the Dominican Republic before offering its solution to HIV and AIDS afflicted children in all areas of the world. Dr. Consuela Beck-Sague of the Centro de Familia AIDS Clinic in La Romana noted, “FLAVORx is used to help alleviate much of the trauma associated with children that are on current HIV-ARV medications. It is a huge help to patients and clinicians.”
The FLAVORx FDA-approved flavors and formulary will soon be offered in cooperation with the Clinton Foundation to help children worldwide. If you have worked with children suffering from HIV/AIDS, see how your experience compares to others by taking this short survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=64541861562
For more information, please contact Teresa Chen at 800.884.5771, extension 234.