Producing large generic quantities of the first-line hepatitis B virus (HBV) therapy entecavir could translate to an annual treatment cost of just $36 per person, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Virus Eradication, researchers estimated the cost of drug production and packaging, allowing for a 50 percent profit for the manufacturers.

The pharmaceutical ingredient in entecavir, the researchers estimated, would cost 1.1 cents per pill, for a total of $4 per year. By comparison, tenofovir, the other first-line therapy for hep B monoinfection recommended by the World Health Organization, would cost 6.6 cents per pill.

Entacavir has lost patent production in several countries, including the United States.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.