$1000 a pill is a big cost for sure and the average treatment is $84,000 for Hepatitis C so again there should be some common ground to where each side takes it in the shorts a little so people can be treated. $2 Billion dollars in sales for the drug in the first quarter are some very big numbers.
The pharma side says the insurers are at fault for pushing too much of the cost of the treatment on to patients and on the insurer side they say the treatment is hurting their profits so it looks like neither side is going to get 100% here but doctors and patients are in the middle again.
12 weeks of treatment compared to 48 is huge difference by comparison that Savaldi, the drug allows. Also it has a 90% cure rate versus older methods that are at 75% and run the 48 week gambit and have more side effects. We know as patients what will probably happen is that when cost comes up people may not get access to the new drug and will get the old treatment after a mortality assessment is performed to see what the cost risk is to cure a patient and create some kind of “scoring” system for the “yes” and “no” to appear on a claim screen.
The good news out there though is that there are other competing drugs in the works from other pharma companies and some competition may help out a bit with price. Would it be worth it to see a few less dollars on the profit sheets of insurers to save some lives? I would hope so. BD
(Reuters) - The leading U.S. health insurance trade group on Tuesday hit out at the extremely high cost of new specialty medicines, accusing drugmakers of taking advantage of the insurance system by pricing products at unsustainable levels.
The latest salvo in the war on escalating U.S. healthcare costs came from AHIP - America's Health Insurance Plans - and targeted Sovaldi, the new $84,000 hepatitis C treatment from Gilead Sciences Inc.
"Sovaldi has shown tremendous results, and it's the kind of medical innovation we need to sustain. Unfortunately, the drug's maker has priced it at an astronomical level that is not sustainable for consumers, innovation, or society," AHIP said on its Coverage blog.
The campaign against Gilead may also be an effort to pressure other drug makers, such as Merck & Co, AbbVie and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, before they set prices for their hepatitis C drugs that are expected to gain regulatory approval in the next year or two.