New Challenge to Gilead’s Sovaldi Hepatitis C Treatment

Several European organizations, led by Medecins du Monde and Doctors Without Borders, have challenged Gilead saying that the base compound for Sovaldi is not unique enough that it could preclude someone else from having already created it. Ed Silverman in STAT reports that “this is only the latest challenge, in fact, by various patient advocacy groups. They have argued Gilead has filed patent claims that unfairly allowed it to essentially monopolize the market for hepatitis C treatments in numerous countries, particularly some middle-income nations.”

Silverman also noted that “the growing number of patent challenges come amid ongoing criticism over restrictions that Gilead placed on the ability of generic drugmakers to supply lower-cost alternatives to Sovaldi, its oldest drug, in numerous countries.”

Doctors of the World said in a statement that it wants to “produce legal arguments that may help governments in the balance of power with pharmaceutical companies—to date unequal for governments. This new proceeding should incentivize governments to use the most powerful legal tool they get: compulsory license.”

Source: STAT