While none of these drugs is a cure for AIDS, they may delay the onset of symptoms. According to Bristol-Myers Squibb, the manufacturer of Stavudine, this drug will be shipped to wholesalers at a wholesale cost of $6.22 daily per patient (FDA, 1994, p. A2). As disappointing as this is to those afflicted with the disease and to its future potential victims, these four drugs seem to be the best that medical science has to offer to date.
Medical science, in its search for an AIDS cure, is constantly losing ground against the virus. Many of the successes that researchers have had on computer screens, in test tubes, and in monkeys have proved difficult to repeat in humans. There was great hope for AZT when it was first developed, but test results released in Europe in 1993 indicated that it may not make a significant difference--though among scientists this remains a controversial point (Sullivan, 1994, p. 59).
For example, this European test compared the long-term prognosis of patients with AIDS treated and not treated with Zidovudine. The objective was to determine the association between elapsed time since starting zidovudine and survival in patients with AIDS. The results among patients who did not receive zidovudine showed that their death rate was approximately constant for the first five years after AIDS diagnosis. For patients treated with AZT, the death rat