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International News
Poor Nations Seek New Hepatitis Drug Sofosbuvir

February 12, 2014

This article was reported by New York Times.

The New York Times reported that while the US Food and Drug Administration approved sofosbuvir -- a new, simple medication regimen that cures hepatitis C -- in December, it is expensive and will not be available to poorer countries. Manufactured by Gilead Sciences and sold under the name Sovaldi in the United States, it is expected to cost $84,000 per treatment. Four other companies are developing similar drugs that also will carry high price tags. The Access Campaign of Doctors Without Borders estimates that drug manufacturers can create cocktails of sofosbuvir and similar drugs for $250 or less, and according to Campaign Policy Chief Rohit Malpani, it is lobbying to make that possible. The campaign is opposing Gilead's efforts to patent sofosbuvir in India, where the manufacturer hopes to license Indian drug companies to make a $2,000-per-treatment version. If prices become affordable, the Access Campaign plans to ask the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and Unitaid to pay for the hepatitis drugs so that Doctors Without Borders can begin pilot treatment programs in several countries.

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