even though I placed this question under the "Fun Stuff and Trivia" category, I believe it is quite a good question, especially that we see how "hard" Big Pharma tries to fight for the profit.
I have no idea from what raw substances the DAAs are being produced, nor how the process look like, yet I wonder whether the Pharma companies (branded and generics together) would have in total enough production capacity to manufacture the DAAs to treat ALL HCV patients.
Let's assume for a moment that the cost for a 12 week HCV course of treatment would be 1$. (What a dream
...). We would have the following data:
No. of patients worldwide : ~180 000 000
DAAs used (assumption) : Sofosbuvir 400mg + Ledipasvir 90mg (or Daclatasvir.... or ... Velpatasvir.... well, that's just an exercise)
For one patient there would be necessary:
Sofosbuvir 84 days x 400mg = 33.6 grams
Ledipasvir 84 days x 90mg = 7.56 grams
For ALL patients worldwide it would be necessary to produce:
Sofosbuvir: 180 000 000 patients x 33.6 grams ~= 6 million Kg
Ledipasvir: 180 000 000 patients x 7.56 grams ~= 1.36 million Kg
Are these couples of millions Kg of DAAs really hard to produce? Do the Pharma companies face real difficulties in producing such quantities or are they able to produce even greater quantities?
Is the production of DAAs as complex as gold extraction (i.e. does it use rare raw materials? ) ? Or is it like oil extraction (i.e. does it use relatively easy to find raw materials?) - I would guess it would be required far less than a regular oil tanker to carry the DAAs substances all over the world to treat the patients ....