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For Consumers

Important notice about Combivir and Ziagen

The Food and Drug Administration, on April 5, 2007, granted tentative approval for abacavir sulfate tablets, 300 mg, manufactured by Matrix Laboratories, Inc., of Hyderabad, India, under expedited review provisions developed for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

This is a generic version of the already-approved Ziagen brand of the product manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, which is protected under patent and pediatric exclusivity, which are listed in the agency's publication titled Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations, also known as the "Orange Book"

"Tentative Approval" means that FDA has concluded that a drug product has met all required quality, safety and efficacy standards, though it may not yet be marketed in the U.S. because of existing patents and/or exclusivity rights. However, tentative approval does make the product eligible for consideration for purchase under the PEPFAR program.

Abacavir sulfate is a member of the class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), which help keep the AIDS virus from reproducing. This antiretroviral drug is intended to be used in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

Richard Klein
Office of Special Health Issues
Food and Drug Administration

Kimberly Struble
Division of Antiviral Drug Products
Food and Drug Administration

Page Last Updated: 08/06/2014
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