Press review

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Gilead's sales plunge in Spain as generic competition bites

MADRID, 18 Oct (APM) - Gilead's sales in Spain over the past three years have plunged more than 60% from a peak in 2015 when its then "disruptive" hepatitis C treatment was launched in Spain, financial newspaper Cinco Días reported on Wednesday.
It said the company has been hit generic competition in HIV treatments and a dramatic fall in the number of hepatitis C patients treated with the company's products
The financial quoted pharma sources which said a variety of factors explain this trend, including the availability of a number of generic HIV medicines. Prices of HIV drugs has fallen in the period. To this, the sources added the fact that new hepatitis C cases are falling dramatically.
Fewer people are being treated with Gilead's Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (ledipasvir+sofosbuvir) are in Spain, the U.S. and elsewhere in Europe, directly impacting the company's sales, Cinco Días added.
In 2015, a year after Sovaldi's approval for reimbursement, Gilead sales in the country were €975.4 million. Globally, sales peaked at $32.63 billion. According to Bloomberg, by the end of 2019 that figure will have dropped to $22.32 billion, the financial noted.
Gilead's management report highlights some of "medical advances" and refers to 2018 as a "revolutionary year" in the field of oncology treatments with the approval of Yescarta, CAR-Ts and the first therapies based in genetic editing of T-cells, the financial newspaper said.

Spain's PharmaMar to sell sarcoma drug Yondelis in Australia

PharmaMar has announced an agreement with Specialised Therapeutics Asia (STA) to sell its sarcoma treatment Yondelis (trabectedin) in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, financial Expansión reported on Tuesday.
Yondelis is a marine-based compound approved to treat soft-tissue sarcoma. It has not been available in these markets until now, Expansión noted.
According to the agreement, PharmaMar will receive an upfront payment and could obtain additional amounts under certain conditions. Details of the signed agreement, including the initial amount the firm will receive or the conditions for further payments have not been disclosed.

Branded drug manufacturers against generics plan

Spanish branded pharma lobby group Farmaindustria has said that the government's planned strategy to promote the use of generics and biosimilars in the country will damage the industry and will not lead to savings, daily La Vanguardia reported on Wednesday. (APMHE 64729)
On Friday, the newspaper carries a follow-up story with comments by representatives of distribution association FEDIFAR, who also expressed their concerns about the draft plan. According to FEDIFAR, it could even damage patients' access to medicines.

First 'hyper-personalised' medicine saves child with brain disease

A child with a brain disease has had her life saved thanks to a drug called Milasen has been tailored to be administered specifically to her and which has saved her life, daily ABC reported on Saturday.
The new medicine, created exclusively to treat the child, has surpassed the limits of so-called "personalised medicine", opening a series of unanswered regulatory and ethical questions, ABC said.

Barely half of EU approved orphan drugs available in Spain

According to a report, less than half of the medicines approved in Europe for rare diseases are currently available in Spain, daily newspaper La Vanguardia, a number of medical journals and regional newspapers reported on Thursday. (APMHE 64747)
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