About the IAPAC Norvir Advisory
Q. What is the IAPAC Norvir Advisory?A. The IAPAC Norvir Advisory is a cyberspace publication of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) developed primarily for physicians who have patients on antiviral therapy that includes Norvir (ritonavir) capsules and who may have questions about switching these patients to Norvir liquid of to another antiviral drug/regimen.
Q. Why would patients have to switch from Norvir capsules to Norvir liquid?A. Refer to the Abbott News Release Abbott Announces Difficulty Manufacturing Norvir (Ritonavir) Capsules.
Q. Why is IAPAC providing this information rather than Abbott?
A. IAPAC is providing this information to physicians and other concerned individuals in addition to the information provided by Abbott on their Web site.
The IAPAC Norvir Advisory provides an independent evaluation and assessment of many of the issues involved in any change of antiviral therapy, including changes in the Norvir formulary as well as changes in antiviral therapy.
The IAPAC Norvir Advisory provides answers to questions raised by physicians. The answers are provided by their peers based on clinical experience. The IAPAC Norvir Advisory is parallel to a "second opinion." Abbott and all other pharmaceutical companies may be able to answer specific questions about the drugs they manufacture based on data they have. However, the companies are prohibited from making recommendations on other therapeutic regimens. Also, there may be a difference in the response to some questions based on physiciansí experience which may not be reflected in some of the data upon which a pharmaceutical company relies to provide answers.
Q. Who manages the IAPAC Norvir Advisory?A. These are the members of the ad hoc IAPAC Norvir Advisory Committee:
Q. Are there any people with HIV disease on the IAPAC Norvir Advisory Committee?A. IAPAC does not solicit information about committee membersí health status. There was no specific recruitment of HIV-infected patients to serve on a committee that is primarily charged with developing information for physicians. However, representatives of AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) who are affiliate members of IAPAC will serve on the IAPAC Norvir Advisory Committee. The members are charged with making recommendations about information that may be helpful to the thousands of ASOs worldwide who provide services to people with HIV disease, many of which are on Norvir therapy.
Q. Is the information in the IAPAC Norvir Advisory peer-reviewed?A. Not in the traditional form of peer review. The urgency of developing this resource and the information available through this resource makes it impossible to follow the standard of method of peer review which for each of the items might normally take weeks or months to complete such review and editing.
Instead, each IAPAC Norvir Advisory Committee member is provided access to a private developmental committee section on the IAPAC Web site which will feature the information scheduled to be uploaded to the IAPAC Norvir Advisory section on the IAPAC Web site. Each member is given 48 hours to offer comments to Dr. Farthing about the scheduled information. These comments are reviewed by Dr. Farthing, who has the option of conferring with the author of the information for possible editorial changes. Any dissenting comments and the reasons for the dissent along with the committee memberís name will be featured after each general entry. This system at least provides for time-sensitive review and comments from those members who have the opportunity of reviewing the data.
Q. How does IAPAC provide this information to physicians and other concerned individuals who do not have access to the Internet?A. IAPAC will provide the IAPAC Norvir Advisory by fax or by mail to any physician who has patients on Norvir, any pharmacist from whom patients on Norvir capsules may be seeking information, and any ASO whose clients may be seeking similar information, and who do not have access to the Internet or who, for other reasons, may not be able to access the IAPAC Web site. The link to this information is here.
Q. Is the IAPAC Norvir Advisory available in languages other than English?A. IAPAC is committed to providing translations of the IAPAC Norvir Advisory in any language necessary to inform the physicians, pharmacists, and ASOs who need this information for their patients and clients. IAPAC welcomes recommendations on experienced medical translators in all languages, in particular those who may possess HTML experience.
Q. How is the IAPAC Norvir Advisory funded?A. The IAPAC Norvir Advisory is funded through an unrestricted educational grant from Abbott. The IAPAC Norvir Advisory is independent of Abbott, and designed to allow physicians who have experience in conducting clinical trials with Norvir and/or prescribing Norvir to their patients to offer their personal experience in commenting on various topics as well as answering specific questions posed by their peers. The independence of the members of the IAPAC Norvir Advisory Committee is a condition of membership.