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AbbVie sue NHS over hepatitis C drug procurement

American pharma firm AbbVie are suing Britain’s NHS after claiming that the health service’s procurement of hepatitis C drugs breached procurement rules.

AbbVie have claimed that the NHS failed in its duty to treat all bidders fairly after it launched the single largest procurement of medicines ever conducted by the NHS in spring of this year.

The procurement which was launched as part of an effort to lower the price of drugs for hepatitis C, saw NHS England offer three year contracts with the option of extension for an additional two years.

Medicines Patent Pool to include hep C and TB drugs


The Medicines Patent Pool has expanded to include a mandate to make treatments for hepatitis C and tuberculosis affordable and accessible to low-and middle-income countries.  

The global health initiative, run by the UNITAID in 2010, has been providing access to generic and low-cost HIV treatments, through a public-health driven business model in partnership with six patent holders and 14 manufacturers. It has distributed almost 3 billion tablets of low-cost medicines.

China rejects Gilead’s Sovaldi patent

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Manufacturer of the blockbuster hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi Gilead has seen its application for a patent in China rejected following a challenge by an access to medicines campaign group.

The decision opens the door for Chinese manufacturers to produce copycat versions of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) for the Chinese market at a fraction of the price of Sovaldi – which costs more than £30,000 for a course of treatment.

$10 generic Solvaldi emerges in Bangladesh

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A Bangladeshi pharma company is producing an unlicensed generic version of Gilead’s hepatitis C drug Sovaldi for $10 per pill – a fraction of its price in Europe and the US.

Incepta Pharmaceuticals isn’t one of the eleven pharma firms officially licensed by Gilead to market generic versions of the blockbuster drug, but as Bangladesh is immune from pharmaceutical patents under a World Trade Organization agreement – it has been able to produce its pill unchallenged.

Gilead frustrated despite final NICE Sovaldi nod

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NICE has published final guidance confirming its approval of Gilead’s controversial blockbuster hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi – but Gilead and the NHS are still coming to blows over the treatment’s delayed implementation.

NICE has concluded that Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is an effective use of NHS resources, but because of its high price – £33,000 for a 12-week course of treatment – NHS England has asked for the deadline for services and funding to be in place to be extended until August, much to the frustration o

Olysio and Xarelto boost J&J’s Q4

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Johnson & Johnson earned a 10% increase in worldwide sales of its drugs in the last quarter of 2014 compared with last year according to the firm’s latest financials.

The company’s global drug sales rose from $7.3 billion in Q4 2013 to $8 billion in the last quarter of 2014 – a 9.6% increase. J&J says the results were driven by its pharmaceutical arm Janssen’s new products.

AbbVie Hep C combo pill ready for Europe

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Viekirax/Exviera is known and approved as Viekira Pak in the US

The European Commission has approved AbbVie’s Viekirax and Exviera for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV).

Viekirax (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir) and Exviera (dasabuvir) is the first product to be given the green light as a combination therapy for patients with genotype 1 (GT1) HCV, including those with compensated liver cirrhosis and HIV.

Janssen privy to new pricing scheme and see NICE nod

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Janssen’s hepatitis C drug Olysio has been approved by NICE whilst also reaching a novel ‘pay if you clear’ pricing agreement with the NHS.

The payment scheme means that NHS England will only pay for Olysio (simeprevir) if patients are effectively cured of the virus after 12 weeks of treatment, with Janssen refunding the cost for those who aren’t. Trials so far have found a cure rate of around 80% after 12 weeks of using the drug.

NICE approves Sovaldi

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NICE has recommended Sovaldi in final draft guidance and extended its scope, despite concerns over the price of the blockbuster hepatitis C drug.

Solvaldi (sofosbuvir) from Gilead is a highly-effective treatment for hep C, with trials showing it can effectively cure the liver disease in over 90% of patients in just 12 weeks.

Gilead sued over Sovaldi price

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A payer is suing Gilead over the price of its hep-c drug Sovaldi in the US after spending $2.4 million on the treatment for its employees.

Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) costs $84,000 per course of treatment in the country, a price that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) claims is ‘exorbitant’ and in “sharp contrast to the prices at which Sovaldi is being made available by Gilead in other countries”.

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