Gilead faces challenge to European patent on pricey hep C drug


Feb 10 (Reuters) - Global health charity Medecins du Monde (MdM) launched a legal challenge on Tuesday to a European patent held by U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc which it accused of charging "exorbitant" prices for a hepatitis C drug.

Arguing that Gilead is "abusing" its patent on Sovaldi, known generically as sofosbuvir, MdM said its challenge marked the first time in Europe a medical charity has used this method to try and improve patients' access to medicines.

"While using sofosbuvir to treat hepatitis C represents a major therapeutic advance, the molecule itself, which is the result of work by many public and private researchers, is not sufficiently innovative to warrant a patent," MdM said in a statement.

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