Brazilian officials have accused US pharmaceutical company Gilead of abusing patent rights with its hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir. Since January, when Gilead received a patent for the sofosbuvir drug, the price of the drug has increased by 1,421.55%.
This Monday, the Federal Public Defender’s Office filed a complaint with Cade, the body that regulates competition in Brazil. It accused the Gilead company of charging exorbitant prices for the sofosbuvir drug.
Last year, sofosbuvir was at the center of a court battle over the patent. In September 2018, Folha showed that pharmaceutical company Gilead barred the purchase of a generic hepatitis C drug that would save the Brazilian government R $ 1 billion per year.
Following the Gilead patent approval in January 2019, the average price of the drug went from R$ 64.84 (US$ 16) to R$ 986.57 (US$ 240), according to the representation— that is, an increase of 1,421.55%.
In 2018, the Ministry of Health announced a plan to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030, and SUS began treating all patients with new antivirals. But rising drug prices limit the number of people treated.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon