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September 26, 2018

Gilead to launch generic versions of hepatitis C drugs

Gilead Sciences has revealed plans to introduce generic versions of its Epclusa (sofosbuvir 400mg/velpatasvir 100mg) and Harvoni (ledipasvir 90mg/sofosbuvir 400mg) in the US for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Gilead Sciences has revealed plans to introduce generic versions of its Epclusa (sofosbuvir 400mg/velpatasvir 100mg) and Harvoni (ledipasvir 90mg/sofosbuvir 400mg) in the US for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Set to be launched through the company’s new subsidiary Asegua Therapeutics, the generics will be available from January next year at a list price of $24,000 for the most common course of therapy.

Harvoni was commercially launched in 2014 at a list price of $94,500, while Epclusa came in 2016 with a price of $74,760, as reported by Bloomberg.

Gilead noted that the lower price for generics is intended to more closely reflect the current discounts received by health insurers and government payers.

The generics are estimated to potentially save up to $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs per course for patients, in the Medicare Part D setting.

Furthermore, the company plans to work with all its healthcare partners to enable list price reductions of its HCV drugs and for solutions to minimise patients’ out-of-pocket costs.

“Launching these authorised generics is the best solution available to quickly introduce a lower-priced alternative to our HCV medications without significant disruption.”

Gilead Sciences president and CEO John Milligan said: “Launching these authorised generics is the best solution available to us today to quickly introduce a lower-priced alternative to our HCV medications without significant disruption to the healthcare system and our business.

“This launch also will hopefully help increase transparency by more closely aligning our medications’ list prices with their cost. Our ultimate goal is to lower the list price of Epclusa – a medication we believe is of great importance given its clinical profile across genotypes – and Harvoni.

“We are committed to working with all of our partners in the healthcare system to help enable list price reductions of our HCV medications and find better solutions to reduce patients’ out-of-pocket costs.”

Gilead will also continue to explore new alliances and long-term financing models to bolster access to medications as well as eliminate HCV.

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