The Week in Review: March 31, 2017 – April 7, 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017 News Recap Canada Effective April 2017, Alberta Health has expanded access to treatments for hepatitis C in line with what the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Québec have just done (Alberta expands drug coverage for hepatitis C patients). As Dr. Shafran, who is clearly worried about continued restrictions, says, “The funders have now opened the doors to let us treat people with mild liver disease … if ...

U.S.: FDA approves two hepatitis C drugs for pediatric patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved supplemental applications for Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) in children ages 12 to 17. Harvoni and Sovaldi were previously approved to treat HCV in adults. These are the first direct-acting antiviral treatments approved for children and adolescents with HCV. Direct-acting antiviral drugs reduce the amount of HCV in the body by preventing th

Scale Up of Hepatitis C Treatment Possible as Brazil Rejects Patent on Key Drug

Decision enables price reductions and scale-up of treatment that leads to cure in 95% of cases Rio de Janeiro, 31 March, 2017 – Treatment for hepatitis C using the key drug sofosbuvir could be vastly scaled up in Brazil after the decision by the National Agency of Health Surveillance (Anvisa) to reject a key patent application on the drug marketed by pharmaceutical corporation Gilead. The decision could pave the way to enable generic competition in Brazil

MSF joins Europe-wide action challenging patent on key hepatitis C drug

Rome/Geneva, – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has today filed a patent challenge on the hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir with the European Patient Office (EPO) in an effort to increase access to affordable hepatitis C treatment. MSF has joined Médecins du Monde (MdM) and other civil society organisations from 17 countries in simultaneously filing patent challenges on the pharmaceutical corporation Gilead’s monopoly on sofosbuvir, in a bid to remove the barrier

Hepatitis C Patent Challenges In India, Argentina To Allow Generic Production

Resistance to high prices for hepatitis C drugs is ongoing as five new challenges against patents have been filed in India and Argentina, according to sources. Those challenges aim at allowing the production and distribution of affordable generic versions of new hepatitis C medicines (direct-acting antivirals). According to a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) press release, on 13 February the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Kn

Inventor of Hepatitis C Cure Wins a Major Prize—and Turns to the Next Battle

Lasker Award winner Michael Sofia created a pill to fight an incurable virus. Now he is setting his sights on another Just three years ago patients suffering from hepatitis C faced some bleak treatment options. The main drug employed against this viral disease was only available via injection. It also came with serious side effects and—for too many patients—was not even effective. Then a transformative new pill called sofosbuvir hit the market. Better

Gilead Again Defends Against Lawsuits Over Patents for Hepatitis C Treatments

The University of Minnesota filed a lawsuit against Gilead Sciences, maintaining that the pharmaceutical company infringed on a patent when it marketed 3 medications for the treatment of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) containing the drug sofosbuvir, including the company’s brand-name drugs Sovaldi, Harvoni, and Epclusa, reported STAT. The university’s lawsuit states that all 3 drugs are covered by patent rights assigned to the university by Carston Wagner,...

Update: India Patent Office approves Gilead’s hepatitis C drug patent

India has reversed course and granted approval to Gilead Sciences Inc's (GILD.O) patent for its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, marking a setback for patient groups who said the move could stop affordable copies of the drug. The drug, which has a list price of $1,000 a pill in the United States, was rejected for a patent by the Indian patent authority in January 2015 on the basis it represented only minor changes to a previous formulation, and the company alrea

Gilead gets patent for Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi

The decision is a major blow to the access to drug movement, says MSF In direct contradiction to its earlier order, the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademark granted American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences the patent for the blockbuster Hepatitis C drug Sofosbuvir (brand name Sovaldi) in India. An application for the same patent was first rejected in January 2015 as lacking inventiveness and novelty. On Monday, however, the pa...

PATIENT GROUP SUBMISSIONS to BC PharmaCare and CADTH

PATIENT GROUP SUBMISSIONS to BC PharmaCare and CADTH Whenever we are asked to contribute a patient group submission about a hepatitis-C related product, we do so. We contribute as a patient group to reviews by both BC PharmaCare (to determine whether BC PharmaCare patients will be reimbursed for the drugs) and CADTH (federal level – to determine whether the drugs will be available in Canada). Below are the submissions we have made, from the most curre