Gilead Sciences Inc. announced Thursday that it plans to partner with Mylan Inc., Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. and Strides Arcolab Ltd. "to promote access to high-quality, low-cost generic versions of Gilead's HIV medicine emtricitabine in developing countries," the Wall Street Journal reports (Stevenson, 8/2). Gilead signed deals with the three Indian companies "to drive sales and reduce manufacturing costs of low-cost generic versions of its HIV drug emtricitabine in developing countries," Reuters reports, noting that under the deals, Gilead "will provide technology and funding to help reduce manufacturing costs of the drug, the companies said" (Kuber, 8/2).
"World Health Organization guidelines recommend emtricitabine, as well as tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), as preferred components of first- and second-line HIV therapy," a Gilead press release states, adding, "However, cost is currently a barrier to broadening access to regimens that include emtricitabine when compared to other regimens, including widely used lamivudine (3TC)-based regimens" (8/2). "Ongoing collaboration (with Indian companies) will be critical for furthering access to affordable, high-quality, first-line HIV treatment for developing countries," Gilead's Chair and CEO John Martin said, according to India's Economic Times (8/2). Gilead markets emtricitabine under the name Emtriva and as Truvada, a fixed-dose combination of emtracitabine and TDF, the Wall Street Journal notes (8/2).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.