Charities aim to increase access to medications that treat hepatitis C in Europe
A GROUP of charities, led by Médecins Sans Frontières, is fighting to have a drug’s patent revoked by the European Patent Office. Sofosbuvir can cure hepatitis C in just three months, but costs up to €55,000 for a course of treatment.
The drug’s patent is held by pharmaceuticals firm Gilead of Foster City, California, giving the company a monopoly over the drug in Europe.
“There are 80 million people in the world with hepatitis C, but only 5.4 million have access to sofosbuvir,” says Yuan Qiong Hu, legal adviser for MSF’s patent challenge. “Revocation of the patent would be a key step towards making generics available.”
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