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  • National study finds life-threatening barriers in access to breakthrough drugs

    Most states violate federal Medicaid law because they deny coverage for sofosbuvir, a new and highly effective treatment to cure hepatitis C, according to Lynn E. Taylor, M.D., director of The Miriam Hospital's HIV/Viral Hepatitis Coinfection Program. Taylor's team of researchers examined Medicaid policies for hepatitis C virus treatment using sofosbuvir and found that most should change policy to improve access to the treatment.

    18 hours ago | Eurekalert
  • China rejects Gilead hepatitis C drug patent: advocacy group

    China has rejected a Gilead Sciences Inc patent application related to its costly hepatitis C drug, a U.S. advocacy group said, adding the move may lead to other countries to consider rejecting patents for the controversial treatment.

    19 June 2015 | Reuters
  • NHS accused of delaying access to 'highly tolerable' hepatitis C drugs over cost concerns

    The NHS has been accused by leading health charities of attempting to “severely limit” the introduction of new drugs to treat hepatitis C because they are too expensive – despite the cost of them being cleared by officials.

    17 June 2015 | The Independent
  • Prisoners Sue Massachusetts for Withholding Hepatitis C Drugs

    In the latest example of how the high price tags for hepatitis C drugs are limiting use in some of the most infected populations, two inmates in Massachusetts state prisons have filed a lawsuit accusing the state prison system of failing to provide the drugs to most infected prisoners.

    16 June 2015 | Wall Street Journal (blog)
  • NHS England announces 'huge investment' for new hepatitis C treatments

    “This is a huge new investment,” says Richard Jeavons, NHS England’s director of specialised services. “That’s why we’re also running a competitive tendering process in parallel, to seek to bring down the price of these very expensive new drugs.”

    16 June 2015 | The Pharmaceutical Journal
  • NHS England stumps up £190m for hep C therapy

    NHS England has agreed to invest a whopping £190 million this year in new treatments for hepatitis C, so that patients with liver cirrhosis can finally get NHS access to AbbVie’s new interferon-free antiviral regimen as well as Gilead’s Sovaldi and Harvoni, and thus hope for a cure.

    12 June 2015 | Pharma Times
  • Don’t Weaken the F.D.A.’s Drug Approval Process

    The 21st Century Cures Act could substantially lower the standards for approval of many medical products, potentially placing patients at unnecessary risk of injury or death. While the legislation does not mandate this approach, it opens the door to it.

    12 June 2015 | New York Times
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership Transparency for the Big Pharma Wrecking Crew

    A new WikiLeak release of the recent draft text of the US-led proposal for the Trans-Pacific Partnership annex on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices shows how the fig-leaf of “transparency” and “procedural fairness” is being used to allow transnational pharmaceutical companies to subvert countries’ ability to make decisions about which drugs and medical devices they can afford to cover, in order to expand access for monopoly-priced medicines.

    12 June 2015 | Health Gap
  • U.S. Shifts Stance on Drug Pricing in Pacific Trade Pact Talks, Document Reveals

    Facing resistance from Pacific trading partners, the Obama administration is no longer demanding protection for pharmaceutical prices under the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to a newly leaked section of the proposed trade accord.

    12 June 2015 | New York Times
  • The Medicines Patent Pool and Gilead Sciences Expand Licence to Allow Generic Manufacture of Medicines in South Africa

    The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced an expansion of its current licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences for generic manufacture of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and other Gilead medicines. The amendment enhances MPP’s current licence by allowing South African manufacturers to join Indian and Chinese companies in developing generics for low- and middle-income countries.

    12 June 2015 | Medicines Patent Pool
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