Abbott has been granted approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new tablet formulation of the company’s antiretroviral medication Norvir.

The new Norvir tablets no longer require refrigeration and can be stored at room temperature, making them more convenient for patients with HIV.

The Norvir tablets and the Norvir soft-gelatin capsules contain 100mg of ritonavir. While the rate of drug absorbed is different, there is no requirement for dosage change.

International HIV Training Centre, University of Chicago Hospitals professor of medicine Renslow Sherer said that approximately a third of all HIV-positive patients in treatment use Norvir in combination with other antiretroviral medicines.

“The heat-stable tablet formulation may give these patients greater flexibility to store and carry their medication with them,” Sherer said.

The new Norvir tablet was developed using Abbott’s Meltrex technology, a proprietary melt-extrusion process, which makes the drug more heat stable.