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Forging A Path to HCV Elimination: Simpler Tests and Affordable Generics

In July 2017, 37 treatment activists from 17 countries—including 14 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)—met with representatives from three generics and three diagnostics companies. This Hepatitis C World Community Advisory Board meeting was an opportunity for activists to present demands and obtain strategic information from companies on critical access issues in LMICs relating to pricing policies, registration, and procurement.

The report summarizes developments in the hepatitis C virus (HCV) landscape and highlights the significant barriers—such as financing, awareness, complicated and unaffordable diagnostics, centralized service delivery, and stigma—that obstruct the sustainable scaling up of prevention, testing, and treatment services. The report also notes the key takeaways from the Community Advisory Board’s exchanges with the companies.

In the meetings with generic companies, the CAB discussed treatment access barriers and expressed our demands. The meetings with diagnostics companies revealed—in addition to the importance of price-related barriers for serology and viremia testing— the need to develop advocacy tools and trainings on HCV diagnostics. In discussions on access to both diagnostics and medicines, there were several common themes. It was noted that distributor markups and customs fees are creating additional price barriers that further strain limited budgets. Reinforcing dynamics—the need for scaled up diagnostics to drive treatment volumes and treatment regimens that can treat all sub-types of HCV—were also emphasized.