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Gregg Alton, Gilead's executive vice president

Bloomberg: Gilead Provides Georgia With Sovaldi for Free, Claiming Virus Could Be Eliminated in 10 years or Less

Media giant Bloomberg writes an article about American Biopharmaceutical company Gilead which provides Georgia with Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, already for two years.

We make a good target,” says Alton, Gilead’s executive vice president of corporate and medical affairs.

It starts with his team looking at the map through the lens of per-capita income. Countries that are well-off go into one bucket. The rest are sorted by wealth and rate of hepatitis C infection.

According to Bloomberg Gilead is cutting deals with some for branded Sovaldi, and also for Harvoni, a formulation that combines Sovaldi with another drug and can reduce treatment times. Typically it’s $900 for a 12-week regimen, or $10 a pill.

Gilead has received or applied for the OK to sell Sovaldi in 29 countries, including 16 on the most-needy list.

Bloomberg also mentions India one of the most famous Generic producer country: “Gilead has given 11 manufacturers in India licenses to make knockoffs, with sales strictly limited to the list; Gilead gets a 7 percent cut of sales. A generic pill is going for as little as $4.29 in India,” writer adds.

Writer  sums up the article with Georgia’s case, claiming Georgia received Sovaldi drug for free, thanks to its Health minister, who emailed Alton asking the company for a help.

Georgia had a fund to combat hepatitis C with a sufficiently low fund, however Gilead intended to eradicate the virus in this country.

Gilead has made some money-losing arrangements. One of the most unusual is with Georgia. Davit Sergeenko, minister of health, labor and social affairs in the former Soviet republic, e-mailed Alton in 2014, saying the country had a fund to combat hepatitis C. Could they do a deal? The amount set aside — $5 million — was a pittance.

“But Alton says his team realized it might be possible to eradicate the disease in the country, which has a population of less than 5 million and an infection rate of almost 7 percent”,article reads.

Bloomberg highlights Gilead’s announcement: “Gilead agreed to provide Sovaldi for free, and Alton says the virus could be eliminated in 10 years or less”.

Apart from this article says that this success of Georgia would be exemplary for the whole world.

Success in Georgia could show how it makes sense for private and public insurers to spend big upfront to reduce health-care costs over time.