When US, UK doctors refuse to prescribe Indian drugs, it reeks of racism

Greg Jefferys, a 61-year-old historian and author from Australia, hit international headlines when he flew to Chennai to use generic sofosbuvir to successfully cure himself of Hepatitis C. He spent 1/100th — just about $1000 — the amount it would have cost him if he were to use the patented version. Jefferys has since helped hundreds of patients access the medicine cheaply from here. Talking to Rema Nagarajan, Jefferys strongly criticises big pharma and the patent regime that is putting life-saving medicines beyond the reach of patients and allowing companies to make 'obscene profits'

Did you have concerns regarding the safety and quality of the Indian Sofosbuvir?
I have no concerns about Indian generics generally. In all areas of the world, there are issues of quality control and there are good companies and not-so-good companies. India has some of the largest and best pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world. I actually get really angry when doctors in the UK or the US refuse to prescribe life-saving drugs because they are made in India. It reeks of racism or post-colonial arrogance! Did you know that I have had dozens of emails from people in the UK with hep C who have tried to get a prescription for Indian Sofosbuvir and not one doctor in all of the UK would write it for these people. But I have had two prescriptions for Indian Sofosbuvir from the UK. One was from a doctor who had hep C himself and the other was from a doctor whose best friend had hep C. None other than that! It astounds me. Tens of thousands of people in the UK are suffering and dying simply because their GPs refuse to write them a prescription for Indian generic medicines!


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