Generic version by Incepta Pharmaceuticals.
By Raif Karerat
WASHINGTON, DC: A Bangladeshi pharmaceutical firm has created a $10 version of the drug Sovaldi, the Gilead Sciences Inc. hepatitis C treatment that costs $1,000 a pill in the U.S., and could soon make it available in other international markets where the American company doesn’t have patents.
Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd. launched its generic version of Sovaldi last month, managing to beat out several Indian competitors that were directly licensed by Gilead to produce a low-cost version of the drug.
The Bangladeshi version of Sovaldi highlights the challenges faced by Gilead in nations not covered by its licensing, such as Thailand, Malaysia and Morocco, as well as countries where the drug isn’t patented.
Gilead is “aware of unauthorized generic versions of [Sovaldi] being offered in the marketplace,” the company wrote in an e-mail to Bloomberg Business. “We’re focused on enabling our eleven Indian generic partners to launch their authorized generic versions as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reported Incepta is in talks for its prequalification program, which assesses drug quality. International aid agencies and entire nations refer to WHO certification as a stone writ guide for purchasing medicine in bulk.
Stateside, Sovaldi has sparked considerable outrage from health insurers due to its extravagant cost of $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment. The price of the drug is already slated to plunge dramatically in the rest of the world as Gilead’s licenses start selling in international markets.
Sovaldi was Gilead’s top-selling product last year, bringing in $10.3 billion in sales for the California-based company.