NAM aidsmap (01.31.2014)
NAM aidsmap reported on a study that investigated whether pill burden and dosing schedule affected adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and virologic suppression in HIV-positive individuals.
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 19 randomized-controlled studies with 6,312 individuals that occurred between 2004 and 2011. None of the studies used fixed-dose single pill therapy. The participants in seven studies were treatment-naïve individuals; participants in nine were patients with undetectable viral loads who changed treatment; and participants in three changed treatment after their viral load became detectable. Median duration of follow-up was 48 weeks. Eleven studies used the Medication Event Monitoring System to assess adherence, while eight used pill count.
Results showed that once-daily treatment was associated with higher rates of adherence compared to twice-daily treatment, but virologic outcomes did not differ significantly. Higher pill burden was associated with lower rates of adherence and poor virologic outcomes for twice-daily treatment. The researchers believe the findings may be of interest to healthcare systems that are considering ways of reducing expenditure.
The full report, “Lower Pill Burden and Once-Daily Dosing Antiretroviral Treatment Regimens for HIV Infection: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials,” was published online ahead of print in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases (2014; doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu046).