Predictable threats to public health through delaying universal access to innovative medicines for Hepatitis C: a pharmaceutical standpoint

Raffaella Ravinetto, Anja De Weggheleire, Thomas P C Dorlo, Sven Francque, An Sokkab, Corinne Pouget, Bruno Meessen, Patricia Tabernero, Paul N Newton, Lut Lynen

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

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Abstract

The new interferon-free direct-acting antiviral (DAAs) treatment combinations have with the potential to provide a cure for Hepatitis C Virus patients and stop the pandemic, but their high prices keep treatment out of reach for most patients in Low- and Middle-Income countries, and the access strategies voluntarily put in place by some pharmaceutical companies remain insufficient to provide treatment to all those in need. This creates room for unregulated markets and pushes desperate patients to look for other ways of buying medicines, leading to potentially unsafe or suboptimal treatment through the development of unregulated supply channels, use of substandard or falsified medicines, and suboptimal prescription and use of DAAs. Market incentives should be in place to push manufacturers to obtain WHO Prequalification and/or registration by a Stringent Regulatory Authority, so as to allow the launch of large-scale governmental (and/or humanitarian) treatment programs with affordable, quality-assured medicines. This is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed now in order to fight an important disease that could be cured and probably eliminated with adequate resources. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Volume21
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1490-1495
Number of pages12
ISSN1360-2276
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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