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Questions hang over European patent for hepatitis C drug after ruling

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5493 (Published 10 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5493
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. Hamburg

The medical activist group Doctors of the World (Médecins du Monde) is calling for European governments to campaign for the US biotechnology firm Gilead Sciences to lower the price off its effective but very expensive treatment for hepatitis C after the European Patent Office ruled that the current patent must be amended.

The European patent for the blockbuster drug sofosbuvir, which is marketed in Europe as Sovaldi, was issued by the office in May 2014.

In February 2015 Doctors of the World and nine other parties filed “oppositions” requesting “revocation of the patent in its entirety for reasons of non-compliance with legal provisions …

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