Can Indian generic makers find gold with a blockbuster Hepatitis C drug?

For patients with Hepatitis C, Dr Parveen Malhotra prescribes a tablet that doctors say is revolutionising the treatment paradigm for the dreaded liver ailment. The hepatologist from Haryana's Rohtak town too has reported a higher cure rate since switching to the orally administered sofosbuvir from the injectable interferon five months ago.

According to World Health Organization data, hepatitis C kills half a million people a year and infects 150 million globally. Screening often includes costly multiple tests without which the ailment often goes undetected. In this backdrop, say doctors, sofosbuvir, is proving to be a magic bullet, unlike some of the alternatives that came with a host of side effects.

"This molecule (sofosbuvir) is revolutionary. Earlier we used to treat with interferon therapy, but here you have for the first time a therapy in oral form. With this molecule the ease of treatment has improved," said Dr Mandar Kubal, director of Mumbai based Infectious Diseases & Pulmonary Care.


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