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Costs of ART Regimens Increasing, Outpacing Inflation

Annual average wholesale price of initial ART regimens recommended for most persons with HIV >$36,000

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Initial regimens recommended for most people with HIV (PWH) are priced above $36,000 per year, with antiretroviral therapy (ART) cost increases exceeding the inflation rate, according to a research letter published online Feb. 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Nicole C. McCann, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues characterized costs of recommended initial ART regimens in the United States from 2012 to 2018 and the magnitude of cost changes during this period.

The researchers found that the annual average wholesale price (AWP) of initial ART regimens recommended for most PWH ranged from $24,970 to $35,160 in 2012 and increased to $36,030 to $48,000 in 2018. For most PWH, the average annual cost of ART increased 34 percent since 2012, which was 3.5 times faster than inflation. From 2012 to 2018, the mean annual cost of initial ART regimens recommended for PWH in certain clinical situations was lower ($25,930 to $39,670) but has increased 53 percent (5.6 times faster than inflation). The increase was 2.8 to 6.7 times faster than inflation for regimens recommended for most PWH; after falling out of recommendation for most PWH and limited to specific situations, the AWP still increased 4.0 to 5.7 times faster than inflation.

“Slowing the trend of rapidly increasing ART costs is essential to expand and sustain access to effective individualized care and treatment for PWH and to meet ‘End the HIV Epidemic’ goals,” the authors write.

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