A health clinic located in central London called 56 Dean Street decided to test drug levels in users that bought generic tenofovir/emtricitabine (PrEP) online to see if what they had contained adequate levels of both drugs in their blood. Turns out, they were legitimate.
The data was presented by Dr. Nneka Nwokolo, who works at the clinic, at the International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection (HIV Glasgow), reported by AidsMap. The study itself was spawned after discovering an increasing number of patients coming in for routine tests had been buying generic PrEP online — mainly Cipla’s Tenvir-EM, Emcure’s Tavin-EM, and Mylan’s Ricovir-EM.
“This is an important collaboration between clinic patients, community activists and clinicians — it is a verification that online pharmacies are genuine and results can be made available, and adds to the testimonies from PrEP users,” Dr. Nwokolo said. “As long as PrEP is unavailable from the National Health Service, it is crucial that it is accessible to those who need it.”
Dr. Nwokolo and her physicians compared tenofovir and emtricitabine levels in the blood from patients using PrEP from the generic brands above, and those who took Truvada, which was supplied at 56 Dean Street.
The results found a regular tenofovir level of 103 ng/ml and a emtricitabine level of 142 ng/ml. Twelve of the patients were tested twice with the same results. And within the first twelve hours, physicians found regular or higher levels seen in patients who took drugs supplied by the clinic. Even better, they found kidney function to be totally normal in all those tested.
Even though follow ups were usually about three months long on average, research showed zero HIV infections in all patients — less than the PROUD study, which after two years found 9 percent of infections among patients. A follow up is planned to take place around STI, and hepatitis B and C infections.