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Gilead makes HIV generics deal Posted 17/08/2012

US-based drugmaker Gilead Sciences (Gilead) announced on 2 August 2012 a new collaboration with Indian generics manufacturers to provide low cost HIV medicine to developing countries.

Under the terms of the deal Gilead will transfer technology to enable Mylan Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Strides Arcolab to manufacture generic versions of Gilead’s HIV medicine Emtriva (emtricitabine), as well as the combination drug Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine). Gilead will also provide funding to assist with investment in process improvements to reduce overall manufacturing costs.

World Health Organization guidelines recommend emtricitabine, as well as tenofovir disoproxil fumarate as preferred components of first- and second-line HIV therapy, however, cost is often a barrier. The new agreements will therefore enable the three generics companies to produce high volumes of the emtricitabine-based therapies, thus providing affordable medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in developing countries.

Big pharma HIV manufacturers, such as Gilead and Abbott Laboratories, have been coming under increasing pressure from public health groups to allow generics of their HIV treatments to be made available in the developing world.

Generics competition has driven down global prices for AIDS drugs from more than US$10,000 a year per person to less than US$100 [1]. However, despite this, access to affordable medicines is still a major problem facing many developing countries. This is mainly due to the fact that prices for new medicines are high, and new medicines and vaccines to address diseases of the developing world are lacking. More than five million people in low and middle income countries still lack access to the antiretroviral medicines needed to treat HIV and AIDS.

The generics makers are certainly not wasting this opportunity, just days after signing the deal with Gilead, Mylan announced that it had started commercial operations in India with the launch of 18 antiretrovirals for the treatment of HIV.

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Reference

1.  GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Advocates demand generic version of Abbott's HIV drug Kaletra [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2012 Aug 17]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Generics/News/Advocates-demand-generic-version-of-Abbott-s-HIV-drug-Kaletra

Source: Gilead, Mylan, Ranbaxy, Strides Arcolab

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