News Release Archive

  The Department of Health will now fund 3TC, an HIV therapy
  drug used in combination with AZT, said Health Minister Ron
  Stewart today. 
  "Combination drug therapy has proven beneficial in the
  treatment of those with HIV infection," said Dr.Stewart.
  "Funding 3TC as we do AZT, ddi and ddC will mean better HIV
  treatment in this province."
  The most recent reported results from the British Medical
  Research Council indicate that combination therapy prolonged
  the lives of up to 33 per cent of people with HIV.
  Combination therapy is the use of two or more drugs at one
  time. The most common drug combinations used to date in Nova
  Scotia have been AZT in combination with either ddC or ddi.
  3TC is used in an attempt to avoid development of resistance
  to AZT in patients. The drug 3TC was available at no cost to
  individuals who were enrolled in clincial trials of
  combination therapy at the Victoria General Hospital.
  However, once 3TC was approved for market sale by Health
  Canda in December, it was no longer available free of charge
  to patients. 
  "Physicians at the Infectious Diseases Clinic are pleased
  that their patients will be receiving what has now become
  the standard of care for treating HIV infection," said Dr.
  Lynn Johnston, director, HIV Clinic at the Queen Elizabeth
  II Health Sciences Centre.
  Dr. Stewart said, "Funding of combination therapy with these
  drugs through government, as insurer of last resort, will
  allow Nova Scotians with HIV infection and without private
  insurance or adequate finances, the option of using
  combination therapy."
  Contact: Lori MacLean 902-424-5025
  jlw                    Feb. 16, 1996       10:20 a.m.