News from Hepatitis Week of August 10, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 32
Hepatitis C Activists Wage Grassroots Campaign for Generic Ribavirin

Hepatitis C activists are waging a grass-roots campaign to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to shun efforts by brand-name drug manufacturers to block the approval of a generic version of ribavirin.

Despite a recent adverse court ruling in mid-July that appeared to clear the way for the approval of generic ribavirin, the drug companies ICN and Ribapharm, which make Rebetol (ribavirin), have petitioned the FDA to block approval of the generic.

The Hepatitis C Action & Advocacy Coalition (HAAC) has prepared a form letter for concerned citizens to submit to the FDA, urging the agency to immediately approve generic ribavirin capsules and to oppose the recently submitted "Citizen Petition" by the brand manufacturers that they claim is "simply designed to delay that approval."

"The letter petition is yet another tactic by brand drug makers to misuse the FDA in a desperate effort to deny people with hepatitis C legal and timely access to competitive, safe, effective, lower cost equivalent treatments," states HAAC's form letter. "Please approve generic ribavirin applications as soon as possible!"

Other sources: HAAC