19 January 2016 | Statements

Unitaid welcomes sub-licenses to make hepatitis C drug widely available

UNITAID welcomes agreements to manufacture a key Hepatitis C medicine and make it available in many low- and middle-income countries.

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), which is fully funded by UNITAID, signed licenses for the generic production of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s daclatasvir with four generic companies – Cipla, Emcure, Hetero and Natco.

Between 80 and 156 million people worldwide are estimated to have Hepatitis C. This includes many people in Africa, Central and East Asia. “Making daclatasvir widely available in Africa and Asia is important to simplify diagnosis and treatments, as combinations with daclatasvir are effective against all genotypes of the Hepatitis C virus,” said Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of UNITAID. “These licenses will help countries that have limited resources, and I am delighted that UNITAID has helped to make this possible.”

These agreements follow an earlier license signed on 23 November 2015 between Medicines Patent Pool and Bristol-Myers Squibb. The Medicines Patent Pool is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to HIV, viral hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low- and middle-income countries.

For more information, view the press release here.

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