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Portugal / Georgia Deals for HCV Drugs
  Georgia sets sights on eliminating hepatitis C - (07/30/15)
Launch of a Nationwide Hepatitis C Elimination Program - Georgia, April 2015 - (07/30/15)
"Gilead/pharmaceutical manufacturer to provide an initial 5000 courses of DAAs as the first part of the programme, followed by 20 000 treatment courses annually free of charge"
Portugal agrees to treat 13,000 people with hepatitis C in the next 3 years
The Portuguese government has agreed to treat up to 13,000 people infected with hepatitis C in the next three years, Portuguese Minister of Health Paulo Macedo said on Friday.
"We will be able to treat more sufferers in a fairer way. We will open way to initiate the eradication, the elimination of the disease," he told a press conference.
He said that the government would pay every treatment undertaken by sufferers of hepatitis C. "We will not pay for three, 12 or 24 weeks of treatment, but for each patient treated," he said, adding that the state will not cover expenses if the patient needs additional treatment.
The Portuguese Ministry of Health and the North-American Gilead Sciences reached an agreement at the beginning of February. The major feature of the agreement is that the Portuguese government will only pay for each person being treated and not for the number of treatments used. The company will provide additional treatments until the patient is cured. The price agreed for each patient has not been disclosed, but the Portuguese health minister said that it has been halved since the beginning of the negotiations.
The possibility of EU member states getting together in order to purchase medical drugs stems from the difficulties some countries faced when buying vaccines for the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. A year later, the Council requested the Commission to start outlining a joint procurement of vaccines in case a new pandemic occurred. In April last year, the Commission approved a Joint Procurement Agreement which allows member states to acquire pandemic vaccines and other treatments together.......http://one-europe.info/the-purchasing-controversy-of-an-innovative-drug-to-cure-hepatitis-c
The main aim of the agreement is to make sure member states have access to the necessary pandemic vaccines and medicines at adequate prices in case of a cross-border health threat. However, the agreement can also be extended to cover the procurement of medical countermeasures for other infectious diseases, such as polio, anthrax or hepatitis C. Currently, 20 member states have signed the Joint Procurement Agreement. Any of the signatory countries can then make a proposal to others to purchase treatments together. Only after signing a contract made on the basis of a joint procedure is a financial commitment made. The possibility of member states purchasing medicines together in order to reduce prices may be of use in the future, as more innovative drugs for other diseases are expected to be available.

The move came on the heels of the death of 51-year-old Maria Manuela Ferreira, a hepatitis patient who died last month while waiting to receive treatment. Shortly before the announcement, the new Gilead Sciences drug, Sovaldi, reached the European market.
According to Portuguese daily newspaper Publico, the agreement between the Ministry of Health, the National Authority for Medication and U.S. drug industry group Gilead Sciences was made on Thursday night, following a week of intense negotiations. Sovaldi, which has a cure rate of 90 percent, is expected to cost up to 25,000 euros (28,287 U.S. dollars) in Portugal per treatment, the same price agreed for Spain.
Gilead Sciences has faced controversy regarding the price of its drug. However, the U.S. company has maintained that it is a priceless breakthrough for both patients and their families.

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