by Scott Hess and Edited by RonniLyn Pustil
In the first quarter of 1997, some 316,890 people with HIV sought treatment; Crixivan (indinavir) was the most-prescribed protease inhibitor (80,200 patients); about 40 percent of medical and prescription bills were paid for by Medicaid. These fun facts from the age of protease are available thanks to Scott Levin and his new HIV therapy Audit, a database of projected trends in HIVer service-and-drug consumption. A canny consultant to the pharmaceutical trade, Levin said the audit's purpose is "to understand the current scope of how physicians are treating the condition and examine current treatment patterns." Conventional audits do not capture the depth of data demanded by drug companies to deduce how docs are mixing and matching the new therapies, said Levin. Of course, it's the manufacturers of the new drugs that make up the bulk of Levin's clients. Not in Levin's database: The 95 percent of people with HIV worldwide who do not have access to protease cocktails.