Tahir Amin, DipLP, co-founder and director of intellectual property of Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge, discusses his organization's ongoing work in challenging drug patents.
What are some of the cases you’re working on now?
So one of the major cases we’re working on is Sofosbuvir, branded as Sovaldi. It’s a hepatitis C drug, and currently we filed 10 IPRs last year in the United States [Patent Trial and Appeal Board, PTAB]. Currently, we’re waiting to hear whether those will be instituted, and by instituted, I mean whether the PTAB will take those cases on and will go into trial.
We have a number of cases going on in India involving hepatitis C drugs, and in China we already had some successful decisions.
The importance of these cases is to show that a lot of people are still not getting these new, direct-acting anti-viral hepatitis C drugs, and we feel that our work is to try and create an opportunity for people lacking access to get them.
Also, in the United States, a lot of people living with hepatitis C are not getting the treatment that they need, and I hope the cases we have brought will leverage some opportunities to try and get these drugs at more affordable prices, because only 1% of the number of Americans that need the drug are getting it at the moment.