The American Gilead Sciences filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court of Russia challenging the government’s decision made in December 2020 to issue a compulsory license to Russian producer Pharmasyntez for a year to manufacture the drug Remdesivir against coronavirus, a generic version of the original drug Veklury.
In the document, the government referred to an article of the Civil Code that allows such a mechanism to be used in the interests of national security, while the patent holder is entitled to pecuniary recompense. Its size was not disclosed by Gilead and Pharmasyntez.
This was the first time a compulsory license to manufacture a drug was issued in Russia.
Before obtaining permission from the government, Pharmasyntez tried to negotiate with Gilead Sciences, but the American company refused to provide a voluntary license.
After that, the Russian company made a request to the government. In the letter, the company referred to the high price of the original Veklury, while Pharmasyntez can provide all patients who need it at a lower cost.
According to Gilead Sciences, the government is not convinced that there is an unmet demand for Veklury in Russia. The company believes that the current demand for a generic version of this drug is very limited, which indicates that there is no urgent need for a compulsory license and little impact on the budget.