Roche to withdraw saquinavir soft gel caps (Fortovase)

Roche announced that it will discontinue the sale and distribution of Fortovase (saquinavir) in the first quarter of 2006.

This is because clinical demand for the drug has declined significantly as Invirase, boosted by ritonavir, has been preferred over use of Fortovase for some time now.

A new 500 mg film-coated tablet formulation of Invirase (saquinavir mesylate) was approved by the FDA in December 2004 and used with ritonavir (1000mg SQV+100mg RTV, both twice daily) reduces pill count further.

Invirase will remain on the market in both 500 mg tablets and 200 mg capsules.

Source: Roche press release, May 2005

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