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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Maker of Costly Hepatitis C Drug Sovaldi Strikes Deal on Generics for Poor Countries

Prescription costs are increasing and it is contributing to higher workers' compensation costs. Today's post is shared from
The maker of one of the costliest drugs in the world announced on Monday that it had struck deals with seven generic drug makers in India to sell lower-cost versions of the medicine — a $1,000-a-pill hepatitis C treatment — in poorer countries.
Gilead Sciences, which is based in California, also said it would begin selling its own version of the drug in India and other developing countries at a fraction of the price it charges in the United States.
The company intends to provide greater access to the medicine, Sovaldi, for most of the nearly 180 million infected worldwide with hepatitis C who do not live in rich countries. Some 350,000 people die every year of hepatitis C infections, most of them in middle- and low-income nations.
Sovaldi, in only its initial year on the market after gaining approval in the United States in December, is on pace to exceed $10 billion in sales in 2014, becoming one of the world’s best-selling drugs. Its high price has led to intense criticism even in the United States, where officials say it could drain Medicaid budgets and insurers say it could cause increases in private insurance premiums.But executives at Gilead say its price is similar to those of other hepatitis C treatments and is a bargain compared with the costs of liver failure and liver cancer, which it may prevent.
The high price of some drugs in the United States, particularly those that treat cancer, has led some of the nation’s most...
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