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  • Progress report on promises made to improve South Africa’s health services

    Over the last three years South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has made several promises to improve health care in his annual state of the nation address. This includes fighting TB, improving life expectancy and reducing maternal, infant and under five mortality. Health and Medicine Editor Candice Bailey asked a panel of academics to assess whether the promises have been kept.

    11 February 2016 | The Conversation
  • Pharma company Viiv’s attempt to secure patents for key HIV drugs dolutegravir and cabotegravir opposed in India

    People living with HIV have opposed patent applications in India for two important HIV medicines, dolutegravir and cabotegravir. Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) supports these ‘patent oppositions,’ which have been filed to challenge an attempt by ViiV Healthcare (a joint venture by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline) to obtain monopoly rights in India while several of its patent claims are questionable according to Indian patentability criteria.

    11 February 2016 | Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Abbott inks $5.8B deal for Alere to expand in point-of-care diagnostics

    Abbott has landed on its next purchase, snatching up diagnostics outfit Alere to bulk up in point-of-care diagnostics and expand its international reach.

    09 February 2016 | Fierce Medical Devices
  • Fair Pricing Coalition Recognizes Merck’s Lower Price for Curative Hepatitis C Treatment, Calls for Manufacturers to Reduce Excessive Prices and Increase Patient Assistance

    The Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) today expressed appreciation for Merck’s & Co. Inc.’s decision to launch its new curative hepatitis C (HCV) treatment, Zepatier, at a price below existing HCV treatments in a tacit acknowledgement that existing high prices have hurt patients and are untenable for the market. Zepatier’s $54,600 list price is lower than the egregious prices for Gilead Sciences’ Harvoni ($94,500) and AbbVie’s Viekira Pak ($83,319), and represents a step in the right direction.

    08 February 2016 | Fair Pricing Coalition
  • Activists United and Ignited by Urgency for HIV Prevention in Europe: EATG and AVAC call for the rollout of PrEP as a proven HIV prevention strategy

    Initiated and organised entirely by the community of people living with and at risk for HIV, the second European HIV Prevention Summit brought together representatives of civil society, the pharmaceutical industry, researchers and academia in Brussels between 29 and 31 January. In addition to a thorough examination of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), the summit discussed the latest developments in the research fields of vaccines, rectal and vaginal microbicides and antibodies and their utility in HIV prevention.

    03 February 2016 | EATG
  • European Medicines Agency Validates Gilead’s Type II Variation Application for Truvada for Reducing the Risk of Sexually Acquired HIV

    Gilead Sciences announced today that the company’s Type II variation application for once-daily Truvada® (emtricitabine 200mg/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300mg) in combination with safer sex practices to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection among uninfected adults at high risk, a strategy known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, has been fully validated and is now under evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

    01 February 2016 | Gilead press release
  • Merck Throws a Wrench in Drug Pricing

    Volume may help Merck make up what it loses on price. AbbVie and Gilead's drugs are priced so high that many governments and insurers will only pay for them for patients that have severe liver scarring, given HCV's slow progression. Zepatier is priced at a point that could make it affordable to treat a much larger population at earlier stages of the disease.

    01 February 2016 | Bloomberg
  • Gilead Faces Fights Over Hepatitis C and H.I.V. Drugs

    The attorney general of Massachusetts said on Wednesday that she had opened an inquiry into whether Gilead Sciences had violated state consumer protection laws by charging too much for its hepatitis C drugs.

    28 January 2016 | New York Times
  • Massachusetts official challenges Gilead's hepatitis C drug prices

    Massachusetts' attorney general is studying whether prices of Gilead Sciences' blockbuster treatments for hepatitis C violate state law, according to a letter the prosecutor sent to the California-based drugmaker.

    28 January 2016 | Reuters
  • AHF Files Federal Lawsuit Against Gilead to Invalidate Patents on Key AIDS Drug

    Legal action, filed today in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, asserts that, “…Gilead manipulated the patent system and engaged in anticompetitive practices to prevent economical access to…” Tenofovir, a key component in Genvoya, Gilead’s four-in-one Fixed Dose Combination (FDC).

    27 January 2016 | AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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