Thursday, November 8, 2018

Drug pricing: still a barrier to elimination of HCV

The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Published: December, 2018

Drug pricing: still a barrier to elimination of HCV
On Sept 24, 2018, Gilead announced plans to introduce generic versions of two of their key treatment regimens for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection—the pangenotypic combination sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (marketed as Epclusa) and sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni)—in the USA. The generic versions will be available from January, 2019, via a newly formed subsidiary, Aseguea Therapeutics, and will be listed at US$24 000 for a 12-week course of treatment. Coming at least 10 years before the patents for the originator formulations expire, the prices for the generics represent a substantial reduction in cost compared with launch prices for both originator direct-acting antiviral formulations—initially $74 760 per course for sofosbuvir/velpatasvir and $94 500 for sofosbuvir/ledipasvir. The announcement comes against a backdrop of declining market share, in part due to AbbVie's 2017 launch of the pangenotypic glecaprevir/pibrentasvir regimen at $24 600 for an 8-week course....

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