Medical groups question price of new hep C drug

March 11, 2014

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.

Explore further: US approves breakthrough hepatitis C drug (Update)

Related Stories

US approves breakthrough hepatitis C drug (Update)

December 6, 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)

October 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

November 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

December 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

November 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.

FDA reviews two promising new drugs for hepatitis C

October 22, 2013
Doctors may soon have two new drug options to treat patients with hepatitis C, just as the liver-destroying virus becomes a major public health issue for millions of Americans reaching retirement age.

Recommended for you

Glucocorticoids offer long-term benefits for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

November 22, 2017
Glucocorticoids, a class of steroid hormone medications often prescribed to patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), offer long-term benefits for this disease, including longer preservation of muscle strength and ...

Baby-boomers and millennials more afflicted by the opioid epidemic

November 21, 2017
Baby-boomers, those born between 1947 and 1964, experienced an excess risk of prescription opioid overdose death and heroin overdose death, according to latest research at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. ...

Sensor-equipped pill raises technological, ethical questions

November 17, 2017
The first drug with a sensor embedded in a pill that alerts doctors when patients have taken their medications was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, raiding issues involving privacy, cost, and whether patients ...

New painkillers reduce overdose risk

November 16, 2017
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed new opioid pain relievers that reduce pain on par with morphine but do not slow or stop breathing—the cause of opiate overdose.

Separating side effects could hold key for safer opioids

November 16, 2017
Opioid pain relievers can be extremely effective in relieving pain, but can carry a high risk of addiction and ultimately overdose when breathing is suppressed and stops. Scientists have discovered a way to separate these ...

US regulators approve first digital pill to track patients

November 14, 2017
U.S. regulators have approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken, offering a new way of monitoring patients but also raising privacy concerns.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.