As you would know Gilead is trying to do everything it can to block people’s access to affordable Hepatitis C treatment through generic Harvoni and Sofosbuvir.
Fortunately Big Pharma is not currently assassinating Hep C activists (that is a half joke).
However whilst Gilead is not actually hiring people to kill activists Gilead is still directly responsible for the death and suffering of hundreds of thousands of people every year. So the line is very blurred about the difference between paying for someone to be killed or killing them by denying them access to the medicine that would save them.
Currently in India Gilead is appealing to the Indian High Court to reverse the decision not to grant Gilead a patent for Sofosbuvir in India.
If this appeal suceeds and Gilead does get a patent in India you can be certain that prices will go up and accessability will go down.
You can also be certain that the US government is putting pressure on the Indian government to grant the patent.
We all know that the US government is a pawn of Big Pharma.
The current High Court proceedings will have major implications for generic producers in developing countries (Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran) and millions of people waiting for affordable access to a life-saving hepatitis C drug. If Gilead wins the appeal it will also mean that Indian generic Harvoni will reurn to Gilead’s control.
The Delhi Patent office this week has started the hearings to determine whether Gilead Sciences deserves a patent for sofosbuvir.
Pray that Gilead’s influence and money can not reach that far because this is a key one among many patent applications that Gilead has filed in India.
This is landmark patent opposition as this is the second time that a new compound patent claim is under such bitter dispute.
In early 2015 the Indian controller general’s decision on Gilead’s application for Sofosbuvir held that “there are a number of earlier compound structures that are very close to what Gilead is trying to get a patent for.” But Gilead appealed the decision and the Delhi High Court asked the Delhi Patent office to hear all the parties before issuing the final decision.
Even as Natco withdrew its patent opposition after signing the licensing agreement with Gilead, Optimus (API producer), BDR (generic producer), Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust (Lawyers Collective) all filed patent oppositions in 2015. DNP+ and IMAK has already filed their opposition in 2014 which led to the rejection that was appealed by Gilead.
There is immense pressure on the Indian govt from the US to start granting patents to its companies. Please do follow the proceedings, circulate the updates from Lawyers collective, press release tomorrow from IMAK, DNP+ and MSF and join us in solidarity in the Rally that is being planned in front of the Delhi Patent Office.