Medical groups question price of new hep C drug

An innovative hepatitis C drug that was only recently hailed as a breakthrough treatment is facing skepticism from some health care experts, as they consider whether it is worth the $1,000-a-pill price set by manufacturer Gilead Sciences.

A panel of California medical experts voted Monday that Gilead's Sovaldi represents a "low value" treatment when compared with older drugs for the blood borne virus. The vote was part of a broader review of new hepatitis C drugs by the California Technology Assessment Forum. The insurer-affiliated group assesses the and effectiveness of new medical treatments.

The group estimates that replacing currently used hepatitis C drugs with Gilead's Sovaldi would raise California drug costs between $18 billion and $29 billion per year. The drug costs $84,000 for one 12-week course of treatment.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US approves breakthrough hepatitis C drug (Update)

Dec 06, 2013

U.S. health officials have approved a highly anticipated hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences Inc. that is expected to offer a faster, more palatable cure to millions of people infected with the liver-destroying virus.

US panel backs Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drug (Update)

Oct 23, 2013

U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers on Friday unanimously voted in favor of a highly anticipated hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences that holds promise for millions infected with the liver-destroying virus.

US group seeks to block Gilead drug patent in India

Nov 24, 2013

A US-based patient rights group said Saturday it has sought to block a bid by California-based Gilead Sciences to obtain an Indian patent for a potentially blockbuster drug to treat hepatitis C.

Doctor details two new hepatitis C drugs

Dec 20, 2013

In the last three weeks, the Food and Drug Administration has approved two new drugs that are expected to dramatically improve treatment of chronic hepatitis C, a liver-damaging viral infection that afflicts more than 3.2 ...

Gilead buys US pharma rival Pharmasset

Nov 21, 2011

US biotech firm Gilead Sciences announced plans Monday to acquire rival Pharmasset, a group specializing in treatments for AIDS and hepatitis, for $11 billion.

Recommended for you

Seniors successfully withdraw from meds

5 hours ago

Elderly people have proved receptive to being de-prescribed medications, as part of a trial aimed at assessing the feasibility of withdrawal of medications among older people.

Flu vaccine for expectant moms a top priority

23 hours ago

Only about half of all pregnant women in the U.S. get a flu shot each season, leaving thousands of moms-to-be and their babies at increased risk of serious illness.

Experts want restrictions on testosterone drug use (Update)

Sep 17, 2014

Federal health experts said Wednesday there is little evidence that testosterone-boosting drugs are effective for treating common signs of aging in men and that their use should be narrowed to exclude millions of Americans ...

User comments