Rushing Ddi To Market

For four years, the list of approved drugs for AIDS patients began and ended with AZT. The drug, also called zidovudine, can extend a patient's life-span, but not everyone can tolerate its side effects, which may include nausea and severe anemia. Now, after billions of dollars of research and constant pressure from AIDS activists, the Food and Drug Administration has bypassed some of its usual requirements to approve another medication, didanosine, known as DDI.

Developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, DDI resembles AZT in that it interferes with replication of the AIDS virus. Whether it will extend the life of patients remains unknown,...

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