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FDA Approves Generic AIDS Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved generic versions of the anti-
retroviral drug azidothymidine (AZT), used to inhibit the spread of the AIDS virus in
HIV patients. This approval became possible upon the recent expiration of a long-
standing patent. The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline had been the exclusive
commercial manufacturer of AZT.

The recent FDA licensing of generic AZT drugs made by Ranbaxy Laboratories of
Guragon, India, Aurobindo Pharma of Hyderabad, India and Roxane Laboratories of
Columbus, OH allows less expensive HIV treatment alternatives to be released into the
market. "These approvals will now allow those infected with HIV more access to these
life-saving drugs within our country," said Mike Leavitt, secretary of the Department of
Health and Human Services.

Source: The New York Times, September 20, 2005


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