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Bristol-Myers Squibb Signs Deal with UN Group for Generic Hepatitis C Drug

Drugmakers anywhere in the world can develop generic versions of Daklinza

A United Nations-backed organization says it has signed a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb to allow generic versions of the company's hepatitis C drug to be sold in 112 low- and middle-income countries, Reuters reports.

The drug, daclatasvir (Daklinza, Bristol-Myers Squibb), is on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of essential medicines. Hepatitis C affects about 150 million people globally and kills around half a million each year, the World Health Organization estimates. The Medicines Patent Pool said that daclatasvir would now be available to nearly two-thirds of people affected by the disease in low- and middle-income countries.

The list price in the United States for daclatasvir is $63,000 for a 12-week regimen, or about $750 per day at wholesale costs, according to pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts. Other drugs used to treat hepatitis C include Gilead Sciences' sofosbuvir (Sovaldi, Gilead Science). A single sofosbuvir pill costs $1,000 in the United States, according to Express Scripts.

The deal with Bristol-Myers allows drugmakers anywhere in the world to develop generic versions of daclatasvir.

The Medicines Patent Pool had earlier signed a deal with Bristol-Myers for generic versions of its HIV treatment atazanavir (Reyataz).

Source: Reuters, November 24, 2015.

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