Health Advocacy Groups Appeal EPO Decision To Uphold Gilead Hepatitis C Patent 05/12/2018 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Six organisations, including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), today appealed a European Patent Office decision to uphold Gilead Science’s patent on hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir. In September, the European Patent Office (EPO) upheld Gilead’s patent on sofosbuvir in an amended form (IPW, Public Health, 13 September 2018). MSF, along with Médecins du Monde (MdM), AIDES (France), Access to Medicines Ireland, Praksis (Greece) and Salud por Derecho (Spain), filed an appeal requesting that the EPO revoke Gilead’s patent. They argue it lacks the patentability requirement “from a legal or scientific perspective,” according to an MSF press release. The filed appeal document was not available at press time. Some 17 civil society organisations had challenged Gilead’s patent in March 2017, alleging a lack of inventiveness. According to the release, “Gilead’s monopoly on sofosbuvir in Europe has allowed the corporation to charge excessive prices for the drug. In some European countries, Gilead charges as much as 43,000 euros for a twelve-week treatment course, when generic versions of the same course can be purchased for less than 75 euros outside of Europe.” “These exorbitant prices have forced health systems to ration sofosbuvir, leaving thousands of people in Europe with hepatitis C without treatment,” the release says. “The EPO is being too lenient with pharmaceutical corporations, giving them a free pass,” said Olivier Maguet of MdM’s drug pricing campaign. “There needs to be much greater scrutiny in Europe when it comes to determining whether pharmaceutical corporations deserve patents or not; otherwise, unmerited monopolies will continue to result in out-of-control drug prices.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "Health Advocacy Groups Appeal EPO Decision To Uphold Gilead Hepatitis C Patent" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.