Minimum costs for producing Hepatitis C Direct Acting Antivirals, for use in large-scale treatment access programs in developing countries
Source: Clinical Infectious Diseases Advance Access published January 6, 2014
Several combinations of two or three Direct Acting Antivirals (DAAs) can cure HCV in the majority of treatment-naïve patients. DAAs for HCV infection have similar mechanisms of action and chemical structures to antiretrovirals for HIV infection. Generic antiretrovirals are currently manufactured at very low prices, to treat 10 million people with HIV/AIDS in developing countries.
Background. Four HCV DAAs, currently either in Phase III development or recent approval (daclatasvir, sofosbuvir, simeprevir, faldaprevir) and ribavirin were classified by chemical structure, molecular weight, total daily dose and complexity of synthesis. The likely range of manufacturing costs per gram of DAA were then projected as formulated product cost, based upon treating a minimum of one million patients annually (to arrive at volume demand) combined with an analysis of the complexity of synthesis and a 40% margin for formulation. Projections were then compared with actual costs of antiretrovirals with similar structures.
Conclusions: Within the next 15 years, large-scale manufacture of two or three drug combinations of HCV DAAs is feasible, with minimum target prices of US$100-250 per 12 week treatment course. These low prices could make widespread access to HCV treatment in low and middle income countries a realistic goal.
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