The FDA on Friday gave its blessing to Viracept HIV protease inhibitor - less than three months after Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. filed its NDA - clearing the way for AGPH to put the drug on pharmacy shelves as soon as this week.

CEO Peter Johnson said the company expects to ship 21,000 bottles of Viracept in the first month, noting that manufacturing capability is "well up to demand." Each bottle of Viracept, indicated for the treatment of HIV infection when anti-retroviral therapy is warranted, contains 270 of the 250 mg tablets, or a 30-day supply (3 pills, 3 times a day). Wholesale cost for a