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Local firm to produce Hep C drug at five times lower price

KARACHI: Ferozsons Laboratories Limited has obtained the manufacturing licence, along with the requisite production process technology from Gilead Sciences Inc, to manufacture an authorised generic version of ‘Sovaldi’ in Pakistan.

The medicine used in the treatment of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) will be produced under the brand name of Savera (Sofosbuvir 400mg) tablets, which will be available at a retail market price of Rs5,868 per 28 tablets. Analysts contend that ‘Sovaldi’ is available in the country at Rs32,500 per 28 tablets.

“The availability of an authorised generic version of Sovaldi at such a reduced price will further expand quality treatment access to HCV cure for patents in the country,” the company stated in a filing with the PSX on Monday.

For the quarter ended Mar 31, 2016, Ferozsons’ net sales grew by 109 per cent over the corresponding period last year. At the consolidated group level, net sales showed an increase of 155pc for the nine months and 82pc for the third quarter over the same corresponding period last year. “This growth in the company’s topline is largely due to its portfolio of imported products, particularly its franchise from Gilead Sciences Inc,” the company said.

Ferozsons’ chairperson Mrs Akhter Khalid Waheed had stated in the earlier released quarterly review on the accounts: “In recent months, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has granted registration to several generics of Sofosbuvir at a significantly lower price than Sovaldi. At the same time, the company has also become the first Pakistani manufacturer to obtain a licence and the requisite production process technology from Gilead Science to manufacture Sovaldi in Pakistan under the brand name Savera”.