AHF to ask states to block Gilead’s $1,000 per pill Hepatitis drug from Medicaid formularies

hcv_newsGilead is not the original developer of Sovaldi, its new Hepatitis C medication that will cost $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment; instead, it bought the drug developer, rival company Pharmasett, for $11 billion cash in 2011. Gilead now seeks a bonanza on a financial investment by gouging cash-strapped government programs, treating states like Gilead’s own private—rigged—stock market.

At $1,000 per pill, Sovaldi price is 1,100% more than Gilead’s AIDS drug combination Stribild ($80 per pill); pharmacy industry sources say Solvaldi’s price suggests a retail markup of 279,000% over production costs.

WASHINGTON (January 29, 2014) In a series of letters to be sent to state Medicaid directors starting today, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) President Michael Weinstein will ask the state directors to block Gilead Sciences’ new $1,000-per-pill Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) from inclusion on their respective state Medicaid and other drug formularies. The drug was approved by the F.D.A. on December 6, 2013 and Gilead immediately announced that it would price the drug at $84,000 for a twelve-week course of treatment—or $1,000 per tablet—making it one of the most expensive drugs ever marketed. Suggested treatment guidelines also require that Sovaldi be used with another drug, ribavirin (a nucleoside inhibitor), further adding to the cost of the prohibitively expensive course of treatment.

“When is enough, enough? At $1,000-per-pill, Sovaldi is priced 1,100% more than Gilead’s most expensive AIDS drug, Stribild, it’s four-in-one AIDS drug combination, which was priced at $80 per pill a year ago when it came to market,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “At that time, Stribild’s price was 35% more than Atripla, the company’s best selling combination HIV/AIDS treatment, and made Stribild the highest priced first-line combination AIDS therapy. Now, Gilead has set a new benchmark for unbridled greed with its outrageous price for Sovaldi—a price that some pharmacy industry sources suggest represents a retail markup of 279,000% over the cost of actually producing the drug.”

AHF to ask states to block Gilead’s $1,000 per pill Hepatitis drug from Medicaid formularies.


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