Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

Indonesia breaks seven HIV, hepatitis drug patents

Merck & Co, GSK, Gilead, Abbott and BMS all effected

The government of Indonesia issued compulsory licences for seven drugs used to treat HIV and hepatitis B last month, clearing the way for generic competitors to reach the market.

News of the move has only just started filtering through, although Indonesia issued a 'government use' decree lifting restrictions on generic production on September 3, 2012.

The originator companies stand to receive royalties of just 0.5 per cent on generic sales in the country, and it is expected that local production of the medicines will start within months.

The drugs covered by the compulsory licence include Merck & Co's Stocrin (efavirenz), GlaxoSmithKline's Ziagen (abacavir), Gilead Sciences' Viread (tenofovir), Abbott Laboratories Kaletra/Alluvia (lopinavir/ritonavir), Bristol-Myers Squibb's Videx (didanosine), and Gilead's double and triple HIV combinations Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) and Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine).

Three of the older drugs on the list (efavirenz, lamivudine and nevirapine) were already subject to a compulsory license, but the government now says access to these is not adequate to tackle the problem of HIV and hepatitis B in Indonesia.

Lobbying group Public Citizen, which has campaigned for years for greater access to medicines in the developing world, said that the main issue for countries like Indonesia is that treatment options are limited when first-line therapies start to become ineffective.

The move has been welcomed by other access campaigners, with Medecins Sans Frontieres' (MSF) director of policy advocacy Michelle Childs describing it as "an important precedent, not just for the people living with HIV within its country, who have been campaigning for this, but also for other developing countries".

"As medicines for HIV and hepatitis B are increasingly under patent in developing counties, Indonesia has shown that countries can and should take action to enable the production of low-cost versions of essential life-saving medicines for their citizens," she added.

Indonesia's HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the fastest-growing in Asia, with an HIV-positive population of 310,000, according to UNICEF estimates. About 23,000 people receive antiretroviral therapy in Indonesia today, compared with an estimated 70,000+ people who need it.

Indonesia's decree comes after a string of patent setbacks for big pharma companies trying to defend their intellectual property in emerging economies.

In recent weeks, for example, Pfizer, Bayer and Roche have all lost legal disputes over patent protection for cancer drugs in India.

15th October 2012

From: Sales

Share

Tags

Featured jobs

Subscribe to our email news alerts

PMHub

Add my company
GCI Health

GCI Health London is a young, vibrant powerhouse in the European industry with a mission to redefine healthcare communications, starting...

Latest intelligence

Is the pharma business model ready for precision medicine?
Precision medicine promises to revolutionise patient outcomes and reduce costs for industry but is pharma ready for it? Blue Latitude Health co-founder Head of Strategy Fred Bassett explores the challenges...
ABPI2018
The NHS and ABPI at 70: inching closer to the triple win
The NHS and UK pharma’s ABPI both turn 70 this year. After years of transactional relationships, there’s a will to work more closely - but friction on prices and value...
What pharma marketers can learn from behavioural science
Pharma behavioural science and traditional emotional marketing create a powerful mix of techniques that have impact on real lives....

Infographics