In a scintillating string of events, Gilead Sciences, Inc (NASDAQ:GILD) is in talks with generic drug makers to offer a low-cost versions of its premium $84,000 Hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi, in developing countries including India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and nearly 80 countries.
Gilead Sciences, Inc (NASDAQ:GILD) offers Sovaldi treatment at a cost of $84,000 in the U.S. for 12 weeks of therapy. The drug price has received criticism from pharmacy benefit managers and U.S. Senators including Ron Wyden and Charles Grassley. Unlike its high therapy cost in the U.S., the company is likely to offer the same 12-weeks therapy for $900 in India.
According to the Executive VP of Gilead Sciences, Inc (NASDAQ:GILD), Gregg H. Alton,
“We are talking to five or six companies right now and we will see whether all six sign a license with us.”
Alton didn’t confirm the name of companies that might be involved in the deal; however, his primary focus is to involve as many generic drug makers as possible to ensure sufficient drug supply.
For people criticizing the price of Sovaldi in the U.S., Alton said,
“We didn’t base it on our R&D costs, and we didn’t base it on our acquisition costs. The most basic answer we give is the regimen cost was the same as the old regimen cost.”
Gilead Sciences, Inc (NASDAQ:GILD) had to spend $11 billion for this drug by purchasing Pharmasset Inc.
However, the share market didn’t consider it a good step and the shares of Gilead Sciences, Inc (NASDAQ:GILD) fell after the news. According to Andrew Berens, FBR Capital Markets,
“There’s so much of Gilead’s value in this drug. People are really, really scared for anything that causes volatility.”
Some analysts even said that providing pharmaceuticals to the developing countries at discounted price is nothing new and the company has already offer HIV drug at a discounted price, as said by RBC Capital Markets’ Michael Yee.
This article has been written by Prakash Pandey and edited by Serkan Unal.