India grants GILEAD a patent for sofosbuvir – page2

India grants GILEAD a patent for sofosbuvir

Patent for sofosbuvir, hepatitis C $1000-per-pill treatment: the end of medical tourism?


patent for sofosbuvir brings gilead moneyPatents are meant to protect the companies from generic competition, allowing them to get the return on their R&D investment and to use the profit to develop new formulations. Unfortunately, without competition – and that’s the case with a patent for sofosbuvir – the pharmaceutical companies can set the unprecedented prices.

In 2014, Gilead earned $10.3 billion with Sovaldi™alone, and $25 billion in total – and roughly a half of this figure in 2013. Sofosbuvir was initially developed by a small company Pharmasset, which was acquired by Gilead in 2011 for $11.2 billion. Therefore, all R&D investment was paid off long time ago.

So  today, who needs protection more  – Gilead from the competition or hepatitis C patients from atrocious pricing strategies?

Patent for sofosbuvir granted, and now what?

A day after the patent was granted on new hepatitis C treatment, patient groups and companies are already planning to challenge it. Many health advocates claim that sofosbuvir does not deserve a patent and prepare to launch an appeal to the Patent Office’s decision.

“Gilead’s sofosbuvir was developed with previously published techniques that have been used repeatedly in other antiviral drugs and therefore does not deserve a patent. In fact, Gilead’s unjustified patents for sofosbuvir have already been rejected by China, Ukraine and Egypt. With pressure growing from US trade regime and from Gilead’s manipulative licensing deals, the patent office’s latest decision ignores the truth about sofosbuvir and fails to uphold the standards of Indian patent law. I-MAK and the Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+) will appeal the decision to ensure the Indian patent system stays accountable to the integrity of the law and to the public’s health.”  Tahir Amin, co-director of the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge

Currently, another key application is pending before the Patent Office in India, this time on the prodrug of sofosbuvir. Several oppositions to its grant have been filed by patient and public interest groups.

Health advocates agree that the approval of the patent for sofosbuvir could prevent exports of raw materials (APIs) to other countries seeking to make the drug, such as Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and the supply of affordable drugs in these countries could thus be affected.



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3 thoughts on “India grants GILEAD a patent for sofosbuvir – page2

    1. Well, you don’t need to stay in India during entire treatment duration. If an Indian doctor prescribes the right drug to you in India, it’s totally legal for you to bring it home and get treated at home. The drug retail price (i.e. sofosbuvir-ledipasvir) is $1200, the entire trip (drug, doctors appointments, lab tests, nice hotel and airline tickets) is starting from $3000, depending from where you fly… If you check out them out:, they organize an entire trip for you…

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