Gilead to allow Indian generics of pricey Sovaldi in developing nations
- CA-based Gilead Sciences has struck a deal with seven Indian generic drug manufacturers -- including Ranbaxy Labs and Cadila Healthcare -- to create more affordable generic versions of its $1,000-per-pill hepatitis C cure Sovaldi for distribution in developing nations.
- The generic Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) version, as well as one other investigational compound, will be made available in 91 poor nations.
- Gilead spokespeople did not disclose what price generic sofosbuvir will be sold for in the developing markets.
Between skirmishes over price caps and safety concerns, Indian generics manufacturers and brand name drug makers don't enjoy the most loving relationship. But it appears that a cure for hepatitis C, an infectious disease that disproportionately afflicts low-income nations, is forcing the two sides into a détente -- at least as far as Sovaldi is concerned.
Gilead spokespeople noted that the generic production deal encompasses nearly 100 countries that contain more than half of the approximately 100-150 million hep C-infected people in the world. "These agreements are essential to advancing the goals of our humanitarian program in these countries," said Gilead Executive VP Gregg H. Alton in a statement.
Sovaldi has been shown to cure about 90% of treated patients.