Gilead Holds Onto Hep C Drug Patent

The European Patent Office ruled yesterday to uphold US pharma giant Gilead Sciences’ patent related to sofosbuvir, the key hepatitis C drug. The decision left Médecins Sans Frontières “gravely disappointed,” according to a statement.
 
“The exorbitant price of this drug and the resulting rationing of access has stirred an intense debate on the pricing of patented medicines in Europe,” MSF said.
 
Organizations from 17 countries launched a legal challenge contesting the pharma giant’s “unmerited patent” on the drug, which in Europe can cost €43,000 for a 12-week treatment course; a generic version is available for €75 in many countries including Cambodia, India, and Kenya.

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