A May 20 blog
post by leading insurance trade group American
Health Insurance Plans spotlights the pricey Hepatitis C medication Sovaldi
(sofosbuvir) - a Gilead Sciences product approved for treatment of
the virus last December - as the primary example of pharmaceutical
companies gouging drug prices to unsustainable levels that cause
detriment to patients and pharmacy benefits managers.
"Sovaldi has shown tremendous results, and it's the kind of medical
innovation we need to sustain. Unfortunately, the drug's maker - taking
advantage of a lack of competition - has priced it at an astronomical
level that is not sustainable for consumers, innovation, or society,"
the blog post reads.
The post underscores repeated statements made by AIDS
Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization and a vocal critic of runaway drug pricing and drug
profiteering. AHF has hosted protests over Sovaldi's price point in New
York and San Francisco, and this month ran an advocacy
ad in the Wall Street Journal. The ad - which ran on May 7th,
the day of Gilead's Annual General Meeting in Millbrae, CA - read:
Learn more and take action at www.aidshealth.org/gilead
"Gilead has attained the highest profit margins in the S&P 500 based on
corporate welfare from public payers for its drugs," said Michael
Weinstein, AHF President. "Gilead has proven time and again that it is
shameless when it comes to profiteering off the lives of patients with
HIV and Hep C. The status quo of skyrocketing drug prices will not
change if payers and patient do not take a stand."
The AHIP blog goes on to illuminate the fact that, when taken in
combination with other necessary medications and courses of treatment
for Hepatitis C, Sovaldi's price tag drives the full treatment cost over
$150,000 per patient, "crushing consumers, taxpayers, and government
budgets across the country." It then quotes the March 4 Bloomberg News
C Drug Price Limiting State Medicaid Approvals': "If everyone in the
U.S. with hepatitis C were treated with Sovaldi at its list price, it
would cost $227 billion compared with the estimated $260 billion spent a
year in the country for all drugs."
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to nearly
300,000 individuals in 32 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe.
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