Gilead: Treating the seven million


Gilead: Treating the seven million


Pharma company Gilead has been in the headlines since it launched its blockbuster drug Sovaldi with a hefty price tag. Less reported, however, are its numerous patent licensing deals that ensure wider access to medicines in the developing world. LSIPR spoke to Christina Carlson, senior counsel at Gilead Sciences, to find out more.

Intellectual property disputes in the pharmaceutical industry can sometimes be reported like stories of heroes and villains.

It’s not hard to see why: in the red corner, a multinational pharma giant reporting billions in yearly revenues; in the blue corner, thousands of individuals denied access to life-saving drugs.

In these stories, the patent is the enemy: the barbed wire fence around the drug. But in some situations, patents can be part of the solution to the problem of accessing drugs. Packaged up with some technical know-how, patents can form part of an instruction manual for making cheaper versions of those drugs.

Gilead, Gilead Sciences, Sovaldi, patent, patent licensing, Viread, TAF, TDF, Christina Carlson, Medicines Patent Pool