Many people living with HIV (PLWH) possess a solid knowledge regarding the price of their antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to a study published in BMJ Open.

This study sought to evaluate PLWH and HIV specialist prescribers’ perception of discussing ART price during the course of care and the acceptability of choosing or switching to various types of less expensive ARTs.

Researchers conducted cross-sectional surveys (one in a convenience sample of PLWH and one in a voluntary response sample of HIV specialist prescribers) among PLHW attending an HIV clinic in the North of Paris in 2016 (n = 4,922 PLWH), and HIV specialists working in French HIV clinics (n = 210) between January and June 2016. The final analysis included 129 complete questionnaires of PLWH and 79 of prescribers.

According to the results, 99% of PLWH were on ART and over half (54%) gave a fair estimation of the price of their current regimen. Among prescribers, almost a quarter thought that their patients knew this price. The study also showed that 60% of patients would agree to switch to less expensive antiretroviral regimens (as effective and with similar adverse events) if pills were bigger, 33% if there were more daily doses, and 29% if there were more pills per dose. Prescribers were more circumspect, the investigators noted.

“A high proportion of PLWH gave a fair estimate of their ART price and this seemed unexpected by HIV specialists. Consideration of drug prices when choosing ART was perceived as conceivable by PLWH and prescribers if effectiveness and tolerance were also considered,” the researchers concluded.


Keywords: HIV & AIDS, epidemiology, public health