While Sovaldi will be available for patients at $300 a bottle, about one-tenth the price in the United States, later this year, the generic version, still in trials, is expected to be available soon after.
Gilead Sciences Inc said it would allow generic-drug makers to produce a new version of its Sovaldi hepatitis C treatment. The new drug is currently still undergoing clinical trials, but Gilead believes the new version will be more effective at treating the hepatitis C virus, which infects 130 million people worldwide a year.
“This compound will offer over 90% cure rate for all genotypes, with one pill a day for 12 weeks,” said Gregg Alton, Gilead’s head of corporate and medical affairs. Earlier this month, India’s patent office rejected one of the company’s patents on Sovaldi, saying it failed to meet the threshold for improvement over a previous compound developed by another company. Without the patent protection the drug could be reproduced by generic companies even without its approval.
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