New study shows patients more willing to consider self-injectable HIV therapy than many physicians anticipate

November 18, 2005

Initial results from the OpenMind study, the largest behavioural study to look at both patients' and physicians' perceptions of HIV care in treatment-experienced patients, were revealed today at EACS. The study's findings are anticipated to help physicians implement improved care to HIV patients and help pave the way for better acceptance and integration of other new innovative drugs such as monoclonal antibodies that are increasingly being developed for the management of HIV and other diseases.

The study was conceived to look at attitudes to FUZEON (enfuvirtide), the first approved HIV fusion inhibitor, and an important option for treatment-experienced patients who face HIV resistance. FUZEON presents unique challenges because it is the first self-injectable antiretroviral whereas all other treatments are oral.

Highlights from today's data show that:This study also identifies some of the main reasons why many physicians may be reluctant to prescribe a treatment of proven efficacy and safety. The reasons include; the physicians' perception that patients would be reluctant to use a self-injectable therapy, the physicians' opinion that the patient would not be able to incorporate FUZEON into their lifestyle and the potential misconception that FUZEON is not appropriately recommended in guidelines.

"Physicians' best intentions in trying to match treatments to patients may actually be limiting the use of FUZEON in those patients who are most likely to benefit," said Rob Horne, Professor of Psychology at the University of Brighton and OpenMind study author.

"These new insights from the OpenMind study will enable us to develop tools to facilitate more informed decisions by both patient and physician."

The study also shows that physicians' own experiences and attitudes towards self-injection are a significant motivator for its use. Physicians with considerable FUZEON experience were significantly more likely to justify using self-injectable therapy in terms of time and resources and were less likely to doubt its efficacy relative to oral therapies, when compared to physicians less experienced with this type of treatment.

Dr Mike Youle, Director of HIV Clinical Research, Royal Free Hospital, London and co-author of the OpenMind study stated, "With the increasing choice of injectable biotech drugs including monoclonal antibodies, these findings potentially have far reaching implications across a whole range of therapeutic areas. We look forward to presenting the final results and exploring possible interventions at major congresses next year."
Notes to editor:
The OpenMind study was designed by Professor Rob Horne in collaboration with Roche and reviewed by a panel of HIV treating physicians and community representatives. Data collection was undertaken by an independent agency and all interviews were conducted in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the MRS Code of Conduct by trained medical interviewers. Data analysis was independently conducted under the supervision of Professor Rob Horne and supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Roche.

This study was designed to identify the drivers and barriers to use of injectable antiretrovirals from the perspective of both patients and physicians. The findings will inform the design of evidence-based interventions to optimise HIV care through greater concordance between physician and patient perspectives. The results have been collated from 499 physician and 603 treatment-experienced patient interviews, from across six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and USA).

Patients were at least 16 years old, taking antiretroviral therapy and were treatment-experienced (patients who had been exposed to, but who had not necessarily failed therapy with, at least eight different antiretrovirals including those in their current regimen). Physicians were HIV or infectious disease specialists treating HIV patients and with at least three years of experience prescribing antiretroviral therapy. At least 15% of patients in their clinic were estimated to be treatment-experienced.

Copies of the two posters presented at EACS are available upon request from Kate Pogson at Ketchum - 44-794-141-8962. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to