[Ip-health] Act Up-Paris : Getting cured of hepatitis C will cost you your pension

Céline Grillon international at actupparis.org
Mon Feb 24 09:42:36 PST 2014


The price of one Sovaldi® pill equals a month of minimum old-age pension

Getting cured of hepatitis C will cost you your pension

Sovaldi® (sofosbuvir), the new medicine against chronic hepatitis C  
from American laboratory Gilead, highly increases chances of recovery  
while also decreasing the side effects that make people stop the cure.  
A hope of survival for the 3 to 4 million people newly infected every  

But Gilead reminds us that “health comes with a price”, and they make  
a good business of it : $3.07 bn of net income in 2013 [1]. In the  
United-States, one pill of Sovaldi® costs €730 : one month of french  
minimum old-age pension. At a rate of one pill per day during 12 to 24  
weeks, the cure costs between €61,000 and €122,640 (not including the  
cost of other associated molecules that enhance the efficiency of  

In order to justify this outrageous price, Gilead uses the eternal  
excuse of the cost of research. But if we divide the price paid by  
Gilead to buy the sofosbuvir in 2011 ($11 bn) by the number of people  
infected by hepatitis C (185 million), the result is… $60 !. Then we  
add the cost of production of a twelve-week treatment of sofosbuvir,  
estimated between $62 and $134 [2], the total cost of the cure would  
be $200, far from the price set by Gilead at $84,000 in the United- 
States, also far from the so called preferential price of $2000 in  
India [3] .

It’s not that Gilead can’t do the math, but they’d rather sell their  
product at an expensive price and maximize their profit, in the North  
and in the South, instead of making it easier to access for everyone.  
The health of poor people, Gilead does not care, it is not profitable  

We, people infected with hepatitis C and co-infected with HIV-HCV,  
refuse to die because of the greed of pharmaceutical companies.

While the Government is progressively withdrawing from the field of  
public health (health care excess, shutting down of public hospital),  
while the Court of Auditors recommend to further limit the social  
security expenses and while scandals linked to pharmaceutical industry  
are multiplying [4], we demand that :

The French Government :

Set a reasonable price for Gilead’s Sovaldi®, knowing that the cost of  
production of a twelve-week treatment is between €50 and €100
Grant NGO’s of ill-people a representation at the Economic Committee  
for Medicinal Products (CEPS) that set the price of medicines
Support low- and middle-income countries to product and import generic  
versions of sofosbuvir
The World Health Organization :

Register sofosbuvir on the essential drug list
Nullify patents everywhere they are harmful


[1] Fourth quarter results and fiscal year 2013 http://www.businesswire.com/news/ho 

[2] Hill A, Khoo S, Ford N. What is the minimum cost per person to  
cure HCV ? 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and  
Prevention, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2013

[3] http://donttradeourlivesaway.wordpr...

[4] E.g. :
  Convictions for anti-competitive practices
  Release of B. Dalbergue and A-L. Barret’s book Omerta dans les labos  
  PharmaGate in South Africa, cf : http://www.actupparis.org/ 
  Investigations by the Berne Declaration on ethical violations of  
clinical trials : http://www.evb.ch/en/f25002288.html
  Marijn Dekkers’ statement, CEO of the German laboratory Bayer : our  
medicines are not developed for Indians but for western patients who  
can afford them, cf. http://www.msfaccess.org/content/ms...

International Advocacy Coordinator
Act Up-Paris

[+33] 1 49 29 44 88
[+33] 6 50 01 39 10
international at actupparis.org
skype : celinegrillon

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