Gilead Sciences Announces Steep Discounts for Ambisome to Treat Cryptococcal Meningitis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
FOSTER CITY, Calif. – September 7, 2018 — Gilead Sciences, Inc. today announced that it will expand its access initiatives for AmBisome® (amphotericin b liposome for injection 50 mg/vial) to address the urgent need for treatment of cryptococcal meningitis in 116 low- and middle-income countries.
The expansion, done in collaboration with Unitaid, builds upon Gilead’s long-standing efforts to offer AmBisome at steep discounts to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other public-sector agencies for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis.
Cryptococcal meningitis is a serious infection, and WHO estimates that it is responsible for 15 percent of HIV-related deaths globally. The burden falls heavily on certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In March 2018, based in part on promising data from recent clinical trials, WHO recommended amphotericin b, in combination with flucytosine followed by single-agent fluconazole, as the preferred induction regimen for individuals with cryptococcal meningitis.
“The continuing toll of cryptococcal meningitis is a reminder that people living with HIV can still face life-threatening opportunistic infections because they do not receive antiretroviral therapy or are on suboptimal regimens,” said Gregg Alton, Chief Patient Officer, Gilead Sciences. “While we continue our efforts to expand access to HIV therapy, we also recognize the important role that AmBisome can play for people with cryptococcal meningitis.”
“Unitaid welcomes Gilead’s announcement as a critical step forward in the goal of reducing deaths from opportunistic infections among people living with HIV in less affluent countries,” said Philippe Duneton, Deputy Executive Director, Unitaid. “Unitaid is firmly committed to increasing access to better treatment and diagnostics as part of its broader work to address advanced HIV disease.”
“Amphotericin B liposomal, AmBisome, is a cornerstone and recognized as a standard of care in combination with 5-Fluorocytosine for treatment induction of cryptococcal meningitis,” said Professor Serge Paul Eholie, President of the African Society for Infectious Diseases and President of the African Network for AIDS Physicians, Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
No-profit pricing for AmBisome will be available to governments and public-sector facilities in the same 116 low- and middle-income countries that make up Gilead’s HIV voluntary licensing territory (available here). In addition, Gilead is undertaking a number of activities to expand access to AmBisome for cryptococcal meningitis in high-burden countries, including expediting registration for this indication. Gilead also continues to explore innovative partnerships to further reduce pricing for countries with the greatest need.
This work is part of Gilead’s efforts to provide sustainable access to high-quality, low-cost therapies for millions of people in 140 developing countries. 2018 marks 15 years since Gilead began treatment access initiatives in developing countries. Today, an estimated 11.5 million people take Gilead HIV medicines and approximately 1.1 million have received hepatitis C medicines provided by Gilead or its voluntary generic licensees in low- and middle-income countries.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company’s mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases worldwide. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.