Approval of Microbicide May Finally Happen

After more than 15 years of research, there might actually be a microbicide on the market in the forseeable future. Microbicides are, simply put, substances which kill microbes, bacteria and viruses. For what seems like forever, a number of groups have been working on and advocating for the development of a microbicide that would be effective against HIV. The research was promising - we had all of the knowledge and tools we needed to develop something. The problem was that it was painfully slow because the big drug companies hadn't the slightest big of interest in lending their huge research budgets to this issue. This is something that would save millions of lives. Why doesn't big pharma want to be involved. Well, to be quite blunt about it, they're not the right kind of lives.

Microbicides would be used by people who cannot, for a variety of reasons, use condoms to protect themselves against HIV, or by people who can and do but want additional protection. The latter would be a small part of the people using them, the former, the majority. The would mainly benefit women in developing countries, women in the sex trade, and women living in poverty and/or in abusive home situations. These are not people with a lot of money to spend on drugs. Hence, big pharma doesn't see the payoff. Arrrgggghhhh.

But, finally, Tenofovir gel has been fast-tracked by the FDA for approval CONRAD and South Africa's Technology Innovation Agency have signed an agreement to manufacture and distribute it. It hasn't yet been approved but the fast-track means it shouldn't be long.

Tenofovir has shown to be effective in greatly reducing the numbers of both HIV and Herpes infection in women who participated in trials.

This has been such a long time coming - I'm so happy to see one of the many drugs and formulations that's been studied has finally shown decisive results and that there is hope that something will be in production in the not-so-distant future.