Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), 9 April 2014
With patent barriers on new oral drugs to treat hepatitis C in developing countries, the high price of new treatment could squander the opportunity governments now have to scale up diagnosis and treatment for the disease, international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned. The caution comes as MSF welcomed the first-ever World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Sofosbuvir has been released in the US with a price tag of US$ 84,000 for 12 weeks’ treatment, which equates to US$ 1,000 per pill. Simeprevir costs around US$ 45,000 for 12 weeks’ treatment in Russia and sofosbuvir could be priced as much as US$ 5,000 in Thailand. At these prices, access in middle-income countries – where 75% of the world’s poor actually live – is likely to be extremely limited.