ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

New hepatitis C treatment costs only $1000

Updated on May 25, 2016

India rejects sofosbuvir patent

On January 13, 2015, Indian Patent Office rejected Gilead's application for sofosbuvir patent, explaining that this compound is not innovative enough to qualify for the patent. Gilead tried reversing this decision and began putting pressure on India, including the Indian Department of Industrial Policy, a governmental body that overlooks the Patent's Office. Regardless of the decision on the patent, affordable sofosbuvir will still be available in India and in the countries of the third world, claims Gilead, making it their main argument.

Same drug, but at 1/100 of its price

New hepatitis C treatment in India: same drug, 1/100 of price. But not for everyone.
New hepatitis C treatment in India: same drug, 1/100 of price. But not for everyone. | Source

License agreements in India

At $84,000 for 12 weeks of treatment, sofosbuvir remains the drug that the majority of the developed world simply can’t afford. Gilead, the company that owns sofosbuvir patent in the US, has been openly criticized for its outrageous pricing strategy. In India, however, their approach is very different. In September 2014, Big Pharma signed voluntarily licensing agreements with seven Indian generic drug manufacturers (Zydus Cadila, Cipla, Hetero Labs, Mylan Laboratories, Ranbaxy, Sequent Scientific and Strides Arcolab). These goal of these agreements, according to Gilead, is to broaden access to innovative hepatitis C drugs, sofosbuvir (known in the US under the trademark Sovaldi™) and ledipasvir (which later became one of the active components of Harvoni™), by enabling the production of their generic versions.

Source: Hep-C-News

Generic sofosbuvir, is it worse than Sovaldi?

People Before Profit or just a marketing strategy?

A number of HCV advocates and experts openly criticize this license agreement, asking if it is actually aimed at democratizing access to the drug, or it is just a trick to avoid open generic competition. The latter, they claim, could have disturbed the market and lower down the prices of new hepatitis C treatment even more than today’s generics do.

What do you think?

Why did Gilead allow Indian companies to produce the generics?

See results

What the experts say...

“…Gilead’s licensing terms fall far short of ensuring widespread affordable access to these new drugs in middle-income countries, where over 70 % of people with hepatitis C live today.” Médecins Sans Frontières

“… sofosbuvir is not yet registered or available in South Africa, and existing patent barriers could hinder the country from looking for multiple generic sources of the drug in order to get the most affordable prices” Médecins Sans Frontières

India has made it to the list of the countries that “present the most significant concerns regarding insufficient [intellectual property rights] protection or enforcement”, according to United States Trade Representative.

Why India?

 
Egypt
India
Populaltion
86 000 000
1 200 000 000
People with hepatitis C
12 000 000
12 000 000
Hepatitis C-affected population, %
15%
1%
Population affected by hepatitis C and the total population, India and Egypt. Data of 2014.

Generics in India means it's over somewhere else

Experts say that the this voluntary license agreement will restrict the export of raw materials used for generics production. Only Gilead-approved producers will be able to benefit from raw compounds produced in India. So, in the countries where the patent wasn't accepted, but there's no license agreement either (such as Egypt or China, for example), the generic manufacturers will run out of supplies and will have to stop producing cheap sofosbuvir generics - or increase the price.

People before Profit

New hepatitis C treatment: People Before Profit
New hepatitis C treatment: People Before Profit

Affordable hepatitis C treatment is not for everyone

Generic treatment for hepatitis C produced in India is a highly effective, quality drug, but

  • it cannot be sold in the developed world,
  • it is too expensive for the majority of the developing countries,
  • it is restricting other the countries that did not accept the patent from producing their own generics.

Would you benefit from Indian generics if you had a chance?

If you or somebody in your family was affected by hepatitis C, do you think you would have been able to benefit from this generic treatment in India?

Let's forget for a moment that India is a difficult country for an inexperienced tourist, that you need a prescription from the local doctor - and soon, with the new rules in place, you would have to be a resident, too, in order to buy the drug.

Let's say, you still have a chance to personally travel to India and buy the generics. Would you do it?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is quite informative and educational hub ! I wasn't aware of this about hepatitis medicines or even the license agreements. Thanks for sharing your expertise and thanks for the follow as well.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)