Access to hepatitis C treatment: How are pharma companies improving access to essential treatments?
The first systematic overview of the policies and practices put in place by pharmaceutical companies to address the accessibility of their hepatitis C treatments. The study analyses data submitted to the 2014 Access to Medicine Index.
From 2011, a new generation of hepatitis C drugs began to enter the market, revolutionising treatment. In 2015, six of these drugs were added to the WHO Essential Medicines List. The Access to Medicine Foundation has produced the first overview of how pharmaceutical companies are working to make these drugs available, accessible and affordable to the global poor. Company engagement is a key factor in controlling the global hepatitis epidemic.
Published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and reproduced here with supplementary information about company activities, the study finds that these companies can engage more broadly and more deeply in global efforts to end the epidemic. Companies are strongly encouraged to:
- Make greater efforts to improve the affordability of treatments for hepatitis C;
- Support the entry of generic medicine manufacturers into the hepatitis C space in order to ensure supply and affordability;
- Consider access strategies early on in the process of developing promising new drugs.