The 1592 Access Coalition has released the following statement:
In the last year a coalition of AIDS activists have come together to demand access to the promising antiviral abucavir (1592). Following months of negotiations with the producer of 1592, Glaxo-Wellcome would only allow 2,500 slots for a compassionate use program worldwide. 1592 is an extremely important drug for people who have failed all other antiviral therapies and have no other options. Early studies of 1592 have indicated strong antiviral supression and appropriate safety. Glaxo has been stalling development of this drug for NINE years. People with AIDS are dying without ever having a chance to try 1592. We are extremely outraged with the inadequate size and scope of this program and have become frustrated with an arrogant multi-billion dollar drug company who has no compassion for our community. Glaxo-Wellcome is the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the World, with 1996 pretax profits of $4.77 Billion. Surely there's enough money to produce this drug for all who need it. Glaxo has been stalling development of this drug for NINE years!
We are now forced to take stronger measures in order to save lives.
We are asking for your help with three actions that you can easily take part in:
1) BOYCOTT GLAXO-WELLCOME products Zantac and Zovirax (Acyclovir). We are encouraging you to reproduce the boycott flyer (below) and hand it out to your community and get the word out about the boycott and the reasons we are taking such action. Suggested generics and alternatives to Zantac Tagament, Pepcid, Cimetidine, Axid; use generic acyclovir. Ask your pharmacist!
2) CONFRONT GLAXO-WELLCOME representatives, raise your doctors awareness. A sample letter to send to your doctor is below. Feel free to Xerox this letter and distribute to your friends so that they may contact their doctors.
3) WRITE OR CALL GLAXO-WELLCOME.
ATTN: CEO ROBERT INGRAM
5 MOORE DR.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK
NORTH CAROLINA 27709
We need your help. Tell your friends, families, and health care providers. With your help in targeting Glaxo, we can save lives. Feel free to contact us for further information. f
or further information: ACT UP/Golden Gate http://actupgg.org/__call ACTUP/East Bay @ 510-568-1680
The 1592 ACCESS COALITION is: Ron Baker, Cleve Jones, Bill Bahlman, Kate Krauss, Martin Delaney, Jules Levin, Jeff Getty, Dr. Andy Lipshitz, Linda Grinberg, Eileen Mitzman, John Iverson, Matthew Sharp
Text of boycott flyer:
BOYCOTT ZANTAC AND ZOVIRAX (Acyclovir)
GLAXO-WELLCOME WITHOLDS PROMISING NEW AIDS DRUG PEOPLE WITH AIDS NEED
TREATMENT OPTIONS! HIT GLAXO-WELLCOME IN THEIR POCKETBOOK!
In the last year a coalition of AIDS activists has come together to demand access to the promising antiviral abacavir (1592) Following months of negotiations with the producer of the 1592, Glaxo-Wellcome would only allow 2,500 slots for a compassionate use program worldwide. 1592 is an extremely important drug for people who have failed all other antiviral therapies and have no other options. Early studies of 1592 have shown strong antiviral suppression and appropriate safety. Glaxo has been stalling the development of this drug for NINE years.
Suggested generics and alternatives to Zantac: Tagament, Pepcid, Cimetidine, Axid
Use generic acyclovir. Ask your pharmacist!
(Call Glaxo today at 919-248-2100)
People with AIDS are dying without a chance to try abacavir1592.
1592 ACCESS COALITION
Text of doctor letter:
I believe that Glaxo-Wellcome is intentionally holding a promising new HIV anti-viral, 1592U89, off the market - and I need your help to change this situation and save the lives of people with HIV.
Think back to last time you lost a patient to AIDS. In spite of all your efforts and skills, your patient failed to respond. How would you feel if you knew there was a drug that might have been effective - but that patient had no access to it due to a marketing decision by its patent holder?
This is the situation with the Glaxo-Wellcome drug abacavir1592U89 (usually referred to as 1592). 1592 has been in small clinical trials since 1995. Data obtained thus far shows that 1592 is many times more effective than currently approved NRTI drugs, with fewer side effects. It has also been shown to be effective in patients for whom other therapies, including protease inhibitors, have failed. Some trial participants have shown turnarounds every bit as dramatic as seen with protease inhibitors.
In spite of this promising data, Glaxo-Wellcome has repeatedly delayed further trials and is not planning to apply for FDA approval until mid-1998 even though 1592 has already been in development twice as long as most drugs. After much delay, Glaxo-Wellcome has put forward a compassionate use program - but this will supply 1592 to only 2500 people in North America,
Europe and Australia. The number of people who need 1592 in the US alone is estimated at 10,000. Public pressure, including a detailed story in The Wall Street Journal in November and demands by activists in the US, Europe and Australia, has had no effect on the company's plans.
Why is development of 1592 proceeding so slowly? The publicly stated reasons - inadequate supply and lack of safety data - do not stand up to scrutiny. Does Glaxo-Wellcome sense a reduction of public pressure to release drugs as soon as possible - and see an opportunity to maximize profits on AZT and 3TC while holding off release of 1592?
Whatever their reasons, they are writing off the lives of thousands who have exhausted available treatment options and need 1592 now.
I believe Glaxo-Wellcome should implement a compassionate use program which truly meets the needs of people with AIDS, and do whatever it takes to make 1592 available to all who need it now. Is this too much to ask from a corporation that made 4.7 billion dollars in profits last year, much of it from drugs sold to people with AIDS?
This is where you come into the picture. I am asking that you:
Let the Glaxo-Wellcome sales representatives know that you believe the delay in making 1592 available and the inadequate compassionate use program is killing people. Do this when they visit your office or call you, or when you attend trade shows and conferences.
Prescribe and recommend alternatives to Glaxo-Wellcome marketed drugs, whenever possible. Let the Glaxo-Wellcome sales force know that you will continue to prescribe and recommend competing products until the company acts to prevent needless deaths.
With your help, we can turn this situation around, and save many lives!
Suggested generics and alternatives to Zantac Tagament, Pepcid, Cimetidine, Axid.
Use generic acyclovir.
GLAXO BLOCKS DRUG ACCESS
_to People with AIDS in Dire Need
Glaxo-Wellcome NYC Office Take-Over
for further information: ACT UP/Golden Gate http://actupgg.org
for further information, call ACTUP/East Bay @ 510-568-1680
see more 1592 info off-site at PWA Healthgroup