Hepatitis C drugs re-energize global fight over patents
Nature News - 03/01/2017
Public-health experts say that expanding access to the drugs would have immediate benefits. Roughly 177.5 million adults worldwide are infected with the hepatitis C virus, which can cause liver cancer and cirrhosis if left untreated — but the latest antiviral medications have revolutionized care. The first to reach the market was sofosbuvir, sold under the name Sovaldi by Gilead Sciences of Foster City, California; clinical trials of the drug in combination with other medications have shown a cure rate of 95% or more. “If these medicines were made widely available, you could make a plan to eliminate this disease,” says Brook Baker, a law specialist at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.