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March 12, 2015.
In news out of Hyderabad, India today, drug maker Hetero announced that it plans to launch sofosbuvir this month under the brand name Sofovir in India. This is the first registration for Gilead and Hetero’s stemming from the international licensing agreement made in 2014.
Hetero plans to launch the Hepatitis C drug in 90 other low-income nations, the company noted.
Gilead, of course, launched sofosbuvir (brand name Sovaldi) in the US with a headline grabbing price tag. $1,000/pill has been the cry by critics quick to their calculators for the $84,000 12-week daily pill regimen.
Reports of worldwide pricing the the Hep C regimen have become a crucial element to the story with much support for pricing models based on GDP per population algorithms.
Hetero will price its generic medicine at Rs 19,900/- for a bottle of 28 tablets. Hetero’s price in India is US $11.36/pill (at today’s rupee/dollar exchange rate), according to the company.
Eight generic manufacturers in India (Biocon, Cadila Healthcare, Cipla, Hetero Labs, Mylan Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Sequent Scientific and Strides Arcolab) are licensed to manufacture Gilead’s HCV meds. The agreement was expanded to include Gilead’s Phase III stage sofosbuvir/GS-5816 regimen which it hopes will be the first pan-genotypic, all-oral single tablet regimen for the disease, according to a January press release from Gilead.