[Ip-health] New Research from the Access to Medicine Foundation: Access to hep C medicines

Danny Edwards dedwards at atmindex.org
Fri Nov 27 04:15:35 PST 2015

Dear all,

I wanted to share with the list some recent research we published in the
World Health Bulletin earlier this month. Entitled “Access to Hepatitis C
Treatment”, it provides an overview of the activities being undertaken by
the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to help support hep C
treatment access.

To complement this paper, we published an extended version of the study on
our website
which includes supplementary information about the various access
strategies identified during our analysis.

*Findings and recommendations*

Six out of 20 large pharmaceutical companies are developing and marketing
next-generation products for hepatitis C, with a clutch of new drugs
already in Phase 3 clinical studies at the time of our analysis (May 2015).
Four of these companies are marketing newer medicines classified recently
by the WHO as essential. Only one company (Gilead) engages in both pricing
and licensing strategies for its hepatitis C products. There are concerns
about a lack of evidence of Gilead’s consideration of affordability of its

Based on this analysis, we are calling for greater engagement and effort
from all companies that hold patents in this space to ensure innovative
hepatitis C drugs are quickly made available to the global poor at truly
affordable prices. In the paper, we make the following recommendations for
future company action:

   - Prioritise rigorous assessments of affordability, seeking to encourage
   greater donor and government investment; patient-level affordability
   considerations are particularly important where people pay for drugs out of
   their own pockets.
   - Make use of the manufacturing capacity and quality of generic partners
   through licensing in order to scale up production, secure supply, and
   improve affordability.
   - Consider access strategies for drugs as soon as they have a
   substantial chance of getting to the market.



*About the Access to Medicine Index*

Our analysis covers data submitted by the 20 companies included in the 2014
Access to Medicine Index <http://www.accesstomedicineindex.org/ranking>,
supported by publicly available information about relevant commitments,
product registrations and pipeline developments. Of the seven companies
that currently have hepatitis C drugs on the market, only Achillion is
excluded from our scope.

The Access to Medicine Index analyses the top 20 research-based
pharmaceutical companies with products for high-burden diseases in low- and
middle-income countries. The Index ranks these companies according to their
efforts to improve access to medicine. It identifies best practices,
highlights where progress is being made, and uncovers where critical action
is still required. In this way, the Index provides both an incentive and a
guide for pharmaceutical companies to do more for the two billion people
worldwide who still lack access to medicine.

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