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WORLD HEPATITIS DAY 2016 Direct-Acting (Antiviral) Generics Work: Free the cure!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Médecins du Monde:
Aurélie Defretin / Lisa Veran | +33 144921381|+33 144921431|+33 609173559 presse@medecinsdumonde.net
Treatment Action Group:
Annette Gaudino / +1.718.208.7531 | annette.gaudino@treatmentactiongroup.org
Bryn Gay | +1.954.482.1421 | bryn.gay@treatmentactiongroup.org

WORLD HEPATITIS DAY 2016

Direct-Acting (Antiviral) Generics Work: Free the cure!

Paris, France and New York City, United States, July 28, 2016 – To mark the significance of World Hepatitis Day, Médecins du Monde (MdM) and Treatment Action Group (TAG) have produced a new report Dying at these prices: Generic HCV cure denied, based on crowdsourced hepatitis C data from over 40 countries available at mapCrowd.org.

In late 2013, new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for hepatitis C arrived. These new treatments are simpler, shorter and capable of curing over 90% of people.

“For the first time, we are capable of eliminating the hepatitis C virus (HCV),” said Françoise Sivignon, President of Médecins du Monde. “The online platform mapCrowd confirms that we are on an uneven road toward eliminating hepatitis C for the 80 million chronically infected people around the world largely due to high prices. Generics are safe, effective superheroes ready to act. Set at a substantially lower price, they require stronger political efforts to become available on domestic markets.”

The key highlights from Dying at these prices: Generic HCV cure denied:

High-income countries: The rationing game
Fourteen of 17 high-income countries in Western Europe have treatment restrictions policies, which limits DAAs to the sickest patients. These restrictive policies are based on high prices -- ranging from US$25,000 to US$75,000. The US also has adopted rationing policies, despite HCV killing more people than any other infectious disease nationwide.

Treatment uptake: Political will knocked off course by drug pricing
The World Health Organization targets for HCV elimination aim to treat 80% of chronically infected people by 2030. We are significantly off track. In 2015, treatment uptake ranges from 0.13% (Malaysia) to 8.4% (the United States). Increased treatment access depends on the ability of states authorities to establish aggressive drug pricing strategies, demonstrated in the Pakistan case.

HCV generics: Free the cure!
HIV antiretrovirals achieved significant price reductions, and making HCV generics available could be the catalyst that reverses the epidemic. When no generic competition exists, sofosbuvir (i.e. Gilead’s Sovaldi) averages at US$38,154. Among 5 countries with generics on the market, the medicine averages at US$2,023. Universal access potentially exists with fair market prices for the generic versions of sofosbuvir and daclatasvir at US$62 and US$14, respectively. Generics can and should be introduced using legal tools such as compulsory licenses and patent oppositions.

“We have the tools to actually end a deadly epidemic,” said Bryn Gay. “We can and must use every means available to deliver a cure to all those who need it, now,” added Annette Gaudino. Both are HCV Project Co-Directors at Treatment Action Group.

Link to report: http://mapcrowd.org/public/pdf/EN_mapCrowd_Report2.pdf

Spanish (espagnol) and French (français) versions of the report are also online.

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About TAG: Treatment Action Group is an independent AIDS research and policy think tank fighting for better treatment, a vaccine, and a cure for AIDS. TAG works to ensure that all people with HIV receive lifesaving treatment, care, and information. We are science-based treatment activists working to expand and accelerate vital research and effective community engagement with research and policy institutions. TAG catalyzes open collective action by all affected communities, scientists, and policy makers to end AIDS.

About Médecins du Monde: Present in France and in 64 countries, Médecins du Monde is an independent international movement of activists who provide care, testify, and accompany social change. From our 255 innovative medical programs and advocacy based on facts, we place people who are excluded and their communities in the capacity to access health while fighting for universal access to care.

For more information, please visit www.medecinsdumonde.org