Livemint: March 13, 2015
New Delhi: Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma Ltd and Hetero Labs Ltd on Thursday said they have got approval from the Drugs Controller General (India) to sell a licensed generic copy of the anti-viral drug sofosbuvir in India.
Sofosbuvir is a $1,000-a-pill Hepatitis C drug of Gilead Sciences Inc., sold under the brand name Sovaldi.
Natco and Hetero have said they priced their copied version at a retail price of Rs.19,900 per bottle of 28 tablets in 400 mg dosage form, which is one-90th of Gilead’s price.
Natco said it will market the generic under its brand HEPCINAT through strategic partners in India.
Hetero said it will launch the medicine this month in India, followed by other countries soon.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. Around 130–150 million people globally have chronic hepatitis C infection and 350,000 to 500,000 people die each year, the World Health Organisation estimates. A significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.
On Monday, Natco introduced the first ever generic copy of Sovaldi in Nepal after the company received the regulatory approval from the Nepali government to execute an export order.
Natco and Hetero were among the 10 generic pharma companies to sign a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead to manufacture and sell this costly drug.
Natco shares gained 14.78% to Rs.2056.85 on Thursday on BSE, hitting an all time high, while the benchmark Sensex rose 0.95% to close at 28,930.41 points.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.