Bangladeshi pharma launches $10 version of Sovaldi
- Gilead has struck deals with a group of Indian generics manufacturers to produce low-cost Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) for patients with hep C in 91 low-income countries. But Bangladesh's Incepta Pharmaceuticals has its own plans, Bloomberg reports.
- Incepta launched a $10-per-pill version of Sovaldi last month that it plans to sell abroad. There are some countries, including Thailand, Malaysia and Morocco, which are not covered by the agreement between Gilead and the Indian generic manufacturers.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) and Incepta are discussing the need for the WHO to assess the quality of Incepta's version of sofosbuvir.
The $1,000-per-pill price tag of Sovaldi has generated so much controversy, outrage, and angst that it was almost inevitable that a company would come out and make a cheaper version. Incepta's copycat generic will be sold for approximately the same price as the properly licensed versions that Indian manufacturers will be releasing (about $900 for a 12-week course).
Incepta is calling its Sovaldi version Hopetavir, and it has been cleared by Bangladeshi regulatory authorities. A Gilead spokesperson said that the company is aware of the unauthorized generics but is "focused on enabling our eleven Indian generic partners to launch their authorized generic versions as soon as possible."