Американские правозащитники требуют аннулировать патент на "Sovaldi" в России
The Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK) is seeking to void the patents for Gilead’s expensive hepatitis C drug Sovaldi in China, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, and the Ukraine.
I-MAK, an organization comprised of lawyers and scientists working to ensure affordable access to medications can be granted all over the world, claims it would cost an estimated $270 billion to provide this medication to the 40 million people infected with the virus in those five countries.
Founder and director of I-MAK Priti Radhakrishnan told The New York Times, “What that means in simple terms is that people who need the drug aren’t getting it or are not going to get it in the near term.”
Previously, Gilead struck a deal with 11 different generic drug makers to distribute a cheaper version of Sovaldi in 91 different countries. Yet this deal notably included a measure that prevented prospective buyers from middle-income countries like China and Argentina from buying cheaper versions of the medication.
China, Brazil, Argentina, China and the Ukraine are considered middle-income countries for a variety of reasons as cited by The World Bank, including having a wide income range or having one-third of the population living below the world poverty line.
Russia is classified as a high income country by the World Bank’s metrics, but the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) writes that more than 6 million people living in the country are believed to have hepatitis C.
“Unfortunately, middle-income countries are home to some of the poorest people, even though they get classified as having a different income status, “said I-MAK’s director of intellectual property Tahir Amin to WSJ.
Amin explained that I-MAK’s goal is to eradicate obstacles that affect local production because the group feels “there are holes in the patents” and changing this system would be the best way to get Sovaldi to the people who need it.
In response to these patent challenges, Gilead’s executive vice president for corporate and medical affairs sent an e-mail statement to The New York Times saying the company was working “as quickly as possible in as many places as possible” to ensure broader access to hepatitis C treatments would be given to patients in need.