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NEWS
September 25, 2012
Jerome P. Horwitz, 93, a scientific researcher who created AZT in 1964 in the hope that it would cure cancer but who entered the medical pantheon decades later when AZT became the first successful drug treatment for people with AIDS, died on Sept. 6 in Bloomfield Township, Mich. His wife, Sharon Horwitz, confirmed his death, which had not been widely reported until last week. Dr. Horwitz never achieved much fame and did not earn a penny for making the AZT compound. The riches - billions of dollars eventually - went to the drug company that tested it, patented it and, in 1986, won federal approval for it as the first treatment proven to prolong AIDS patients' lives.
BUSINESS
March 20, 1991 | By Kristin Huckshorn, Inquirer Washington Bureau
In an attempt to make the anti-AIDS drug AZT cheaper, an activist group yesterday sued to invalidate the patents that give Burroughs Wellcome Co. exclusive rights to make and sell the drug. The suit, filed in federal court here by the public interest group Public Citizen, contends that when Burroughs Wellcome got the U.S. patent for AZT in 1988, it failed to name all of the drug's inventors, including researchers at the National Cancer Institute and Duke University. The suit contends that the drug company "did not conceive, develop or demonstrate" the use of AZT as an anti-AIDS drug and, therefore, "is not the inventor.
NEWS
October 25, 1995 | by Mary Flannery, Daily News Staff Writer
Twenty months ago, the results of medical research on the effects of AZT on HIV/AIDS-infected pregnant patients were hailed as so positive that the study - which included use of the real drug and a placebo - was halted and the AZT was offered to all participants. The study indicated that the drug significantly reduced the risk that the participants' children would be born infected. At the time, AZT was declared a breakthrough treatment that would spare more than 1,000 infants a year from living a short, painful life.
NEWS
December 21, 1987 | Daily News Wire Services
Although the Food and Drug Administration recommends the powerful drug AZT only for patients with serious signs of AIDS, a growing number of doctors are prescribing the drug to carriers of the AIDS virus who show no symptoms, the New York Times reported today. Although the practice is legal - once a drug is approved, doctors may prescribe it for any patient - it has created a split in the medical community, the Times reported. Some doctors told the newspaper that they could not recall another drug with such toxic potential being so widely prescribed for conditions beyond those specified by the FDA. AZT, the only drug on the market for the treatment of AIDS, is known to suppress bone marrow, which can cause severe anemia and make patients vulnerable to life-threatening infections.
NEWS
August 28, 1989 | By Loretta Tofani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Physicians in Philadelphia have been prescribing AZT for the last two years to patients who are infected with the AIDS virus but do not have AIDS, even though the federal government announced only last week that AZT can help such patients, physicians and patients said last week. AZT, or azidothymidine, is the only drug licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of AIDS, but its use has been approved only for the sickest patients. The federal announcement has prompted the FDA to consider licensing it for a wider range of patients.
BUSINESS
April 7, 1987 | By GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer
The new drug AZT - the only drug that has shown any promise in fighting the deadly AIDS virus - is also one of the most expensive drugs ever manufactured. At $188 a pop, the cost of the average treatment in one year can approach $10,000. However, as of yesterday, that won't present a problem for people who subscribe to Blue Cross or Blue Shield. The two companies announced yesterday that they would pay the costs of prescriptions for the new drug AZT, which was approved recently by the Food and Drug Administration for use in treating AIDS patients.
NEWS
December 23, 1989 | By Loretta Tofani, Inquirer Staff Writer
The city agreed yesterday to administer the drug AZT to certain prison inmates who test positive for the AIDS virus but do not have AIDS symptoms, making Philadelphia one of the first places in the country to offer state-of- the-art AIDS-virus treatment to inmates, according to city officials and national prison authorities. The agreement came after the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and Community Legal Services Inc. threatened a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Philadelphia inmates with the AIDS virus.
NEWS
November 29, 1989 | By Mary Flannery, Daily News Staff Writer
For nurses, an accidental jab with a hypodermic needle just withdrawn from a patient was once considered merely an annoyance. For a doctor or technician, so was a splash of a patient's blood. However, with advent of AIDS, these have become genuine occupational hazards - accidents fraught with worry because of the possibility, however remote, that such an incident could infect a health worker with the deadly virus. Until recently, worrying was all that health professionals could do. But today, physicians and nurses have another choice, although it is one that comes with its own set of risks.
BUSINESS
May 1, 1991 | By Marian Uhlman, Inquirer Staff Writer
What would it cost to add a year to the life of a person infected with the AIDS virus? Between $6,553 and $70,526 - if the person began receiving the AIDS drug AZT before full-blown symptoms of the disease emerged, says a study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Those costs are not out of line, the researchers say, if one considers that it costs $6,463 to add a year to the life of a smoker who receives stop- smoking counseling. Or that it costs between $85,519 and $141,600 to add a year to the life of a person who needs cholesterol-lowering medication.
NEWS
July 25, 1993 | By Marian Uhlman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
AIDS patients won't get a price break on the widely used medicine AZT - at least for the time being. Even though American taxpayers helped to subsidize the drug's development, a federal judge decided last week that its current manufacturer, Burroughs Wellcome Co., had exclusive rights to AZT's patents. So it appears that until the patents run out in 12 years, no cheaper, generic versions of AZT will be allowed in this country. And people who need the drug must continue to buy it from Burroughs Wellcome, under the brand name Retrovir - which wholesales for about $2,200 a year.
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NEWS
November 15, 2013 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
LIKELY OSCAR nominee Matthew McConaughey devours another plum role in "Dallas Buyers Club," playing a homophobic, straight rodeo hand who gets HIV back in the 1980s. The man's bigotry erodes, of course, when he enters the orbit of AIDS patients, most of whom are gay, but the movie is less about empathy than defiance - defined by the way McConaughey embodies his character's Texas-sized streak of independence. When doctors (Jennifer Garner, Dennis O'Hare) tell him he has a month to live, he yanks the tubes from his arms and walks bare-ass out of the emergency room.
NEWS
September 25, 2012
Jerome P. Horwitz, 93, a scientific researcher who created AZT in 1964 in the hope that it would cure cancer but who entered the medical pantheon decades later when AZT became the first successful drug treatment for people with AIDS, died on Sept. 6 in Bloomfield Township, Mich. His wife, Sharon Horwitz, confirmed his death, which had not been widely reported until last week. Dr. Horwitz never achieved much fame and did not earn a penny for making the AZT compound. The riches - billions of dollars eventually - went to the drug company that tested it, patented it and, in 1986, won federal approval for it as the first treatment proven to prolong AIDS patients' lives.
NEWS
September 13, 2010 | By Brooke Minters, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last spring, Lafayette Sanders got a call from a friend who was concerned about his reputation. The word on the street, she said, was that he and his girlfriend had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. It was true about Sanders, and he told her so because his friend was so supportive. But Sanders, then 23, also decided that he needed to tell all his friends that he had been HIV-positive - for his entire life. Sanders, of West Philadelphia, belongs to a rare group; he was born HIV-positive when he was perinatally infected via his mother either during pregnancy and delivery or breastfeeding.
NEWS
June 26, 2001
As delegates gather this week at the United Nations to work on a global strategy to combat AIDS, some - but not all - of the world's nations are emerging from the "denial stage. " So far, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus has infected 58 million people - 22 million have already died. Seventy percent of the infected live in Africa. And as long as the infection rate remains high in one country, the danger remains high for all countries, including the United States. A critical next step is to reject the false choice that has been set up by some nations and pharmaceutical companies between prevention efforts and treatment of those already infected.
NEWS
April 9, 2001 | By Andrew Maykuth INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When Barbara Kenyon established rape victims' centers here last year, she didn't intend to create a political battle over AIDS, medicine and race. That's just how it turned out. Government health officials have moved to close the rape centers because they were providing rape victims with free medicine to reduce the risk of AIDS. The impasse in Nelspruit, a semi-tropical region of citrus and sugar cane plantations on the border of Kruger National Park, is a microcosm of the paralysis that has overwhelmed the government's response to the AIDS pandemic.
NEWS
March 6, 2001 | By Susan Warner, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
At his Center City office, Jean-Pierre Garnier, chief executive officer of GlaxoSmithKline, the world's largest manufacturer of AIDS medicines, has an enormous item on his to-do list: Figure out how to save more than 25 million people infected with the AIDS virus in Africa. And how to do it without choking off his company's ability to pay for research to help millions more throughout the world awaiting cures for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. "I think about it every day," Garnier said.
NEWS
November 30, 2000 | by Linda Wright Moore, Daily News Staff Writer
On the eve of World AIDS Day, the latest news about the global epidemic runs the gamut from good to horrific - and even the so-called good news is bad if you scratch the surface. First, the good news: In wealthy countries, including the United States, the rate of HIV infection has not increased, reports the "AIDS Epidemic Update" published by the United Nations AIDS agency and the World Health Organization. But neither has it fallen. The number of newly infected people is about 45,000 in North America and 30,000 in Western Europe, a rate of infection no lower than last year's.
NEWS
July 10, 2000 | by Lawrence Goldyn
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has so exasperated AIDS researchers that some have decided not to attend the international AIDS conference in his country. First, he said AZT, which has safely helped prolong the lives of hundreds of thousands of people with HIV, might be too toxic for his people. Then he announced that he was willing to entertain the ridiculous views of the marginalized scientists who say HIV does not cause AIDS. But when Mbeki spoke to an audience in San Francisco a few months ago, his iconoclasm began to make sense.
NEWS
June 3, 2000
South African President Thabo Mbeki is beginning to distance himself from the discredited idea that the HIV virus does not cause AIDS, but in many ways the damage from his irresponsible rantings has been done. He'd been asserting that AIDS was simply a name for a host of fatal diseases that are worsened by poor sanitation and bad nutrition. He opposed AZT and other anti-HIV drugs, which he claimed were ineffective, toxic and un-African. His flirtation with these notions is shockingly irresponsible, but don't take our word for it. "It's a national scandal," said Malegapuru Makgoba, president of South Africa's Medical Research Council.
NEWS
May 21, 2000 | By Huntly Collins, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In this crowded township of 500,000 people near Cape Town, an estimated 22 percent of pregnant women have the AIDS virus. But here, unlike in the rest of South Africa, where nothing is being done to keep mothers from passing the virus to their children, the women can get free doses of AZT, which can cut infection rates by half. "When my labor pains got faster and faster, I took AZT every three hours," said Nonfundo Dubula, 26, an HIV-positive woman whose daughter Aziwe was born on April 28. "I was in labor for four days.
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