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An ongoing battle between Gilead Sciences (GILD) and the Malaysian government over hepatitis C treatment intensified in recent weeks as U.S. officials placed pressure on Malaysian officials to back down from a plan to sidestep patents, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The fracas stems from a move in 2017 by the Malaysian government to issue a license to generic companies to supply a version of the pricey Sovaldi hepatitis C pill, although only to public facilities, such as hospitals. In doing so, Malaysia became the first country to take such a step amid growing global pushback over the cost of the groundbreaking medicine.

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  • Our scribe is an eternal optimist. “We asked the OMB, which is part of the White House apparatus, for comment and will pass along any reply.” Given how the head of OMB is newly multi-tasking again, one doubts ‘any reply’ will be forthcoming soon.

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