In a setback for Gilead Sciences (GILD), Ukrainian authorities have rejected a key patent for the Sovaldi hepatitis C treatment, according to patient advocacy groups that challenged the patent filing. The decision means that lower-cost generic versions of the medicine may become available by 2020, or a decade sooner than if the patent had been awarded.

“This is a very important achievement for Ukrainian patients,” says Sergiy Dmitriev of the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV, which filed the patent challenge. “Thanks to this decision, we expect that the price of medicines may drop three-fold, and for us, this means that three times more patients with hepatitis C will have access to modern drugs.”

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