Good News and Bad News

cureThe good news, Sovaldi is a breakthrough drug treatment for hepatitis C. Unlike traditional treatments for hepatitis C, Sovaldi can cure more than 90 percent of patients in a few months. More than 130 million people across the globe have been hoping and praying for this kind of cure. Gilead Sciences in Foster City, which makes the drug Sovaldi, won approval from the Food and Drug Administration in December.

 

Bad News

 The bad news is the $1,000 hepatitis C pill is a tough miracle to swallow. The drug requires daily pills for 12 weeks at a cost of $84,000! Gilead spent $11 billion to develop the drug that now claims to be the best-selling new drug of all time, with January to March sales topping $2.3 billion. So who can afford the treatment? 

The nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, Express-Scripts Holding Co., plans to boycott the drug unless Gilead lowers the price. Medicaid-managed care plans report they are having trouble covering the cost.

Dr. Rena Fox, a professor of medicine at UCSF who researches hepatitis C in veterans reported that, "The industry has set the price at a point which I can't see how it would be affordable for any health insurance or any system to take this on 100 percent."

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