Bristol-Myers signs deal with UN group for generic hep C drug

by Reuters
Monday, 23 November 2015 14:19 GMT

Nov 23 (Reuters) - A United Nations-backed organization working to cut the price of HIV drugs said it had signed a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co to allow generic versions of the company's hepatitis C drug to be sold in 112 low- and middle-income countries.

The drug, Daklinza, is on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines.

Hepatitis C affects about 150 million people globally and kills around half a million each year, the World Health Organisation estimates.

The Medicines Patent Pool said on Monday that Daklinza would now be available to nearly two-thirds of people affected by the disease in low- and middle-income countries.

The list price in the United States for Daklinza is $63,000 for a 12-week regimen, or about $750 per day at wholesale costs, according to pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts.

Other drugs used to treat hepatitis C include Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi. A single Sovaldi pill costs $1,000 in the United States, according to Express Scripts.

The deal with Bristol-Myers allows drugmakers anywhere in the world to develop generic versions of Daklinza.

The Medicines Patent Pool had earlier signed a deal with Bristol-Myers for generic versions of its HIV treatment Reyataz. (Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.