China rejects Gilead's hep C drug patent
- China has rejected a Gilead patent related to the blockbuster hep C drug Sovaldi. The rejection was for the sofosbuvir prodrug; however, Gilead holds the sofosbuvir patent in China.
- This rejection comes not long after India's patent office rejected Gilead's patent application for Sovalid in January.
- The NY-based group Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) has legally challenged Gilead's patents or patent applications in China, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine.
Governments and organizations, which choose to challenge Gilead's hep C-related patents and patent applications, feel vindicated, because of the high price of Sovaldi and the ongoing need for affordable, effective hepatitis C in low- and middle-income countries.
Many of the 150 million people affected by hepatitis C live in low- and middle-income countries, and could greatly benefit from a generic, lower-cost version of Sovaldi, especially considering that a standard 12-week regimen costs roughly $84,000 in the absence of any discounting.