Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) Wins FDA Approval for Hepatitis C Drug That Costs More Than $1000 a Pill

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) has finally secured U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval for its Hepatitis C drug. The once-a-day pill is however coming into the market even pricier than Solvadi, which costs $1000 a pill. The drug, which is the first only oral full treatment for the illness is said to cost $1125.

The new drug is a combination of Sovaldi and Ledipasvir, a combination which is able to attack the unwanted virus using different mechanisms. The drug is said to be close to what Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) has been using for the treatment of HIV.

It’s used for the treatment of what’s medically referred to as Genotype 1 hepatitis C. The illness is known to be the most common in the U.S. yet it’s equally difficult to treat. The use of the drug has been proved to be effective in more than 94% of patients who’ve completed the recommended dosage.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)

After Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) got the approval for the drug, the company posted the pricing for the pill at $94,500 for a 12 week regimen. For patients who’ll use an 8 week regimen, the total cost will come to around $63,000. Considering that cost, it comes close to what patients used to pay for Sovaldi which was $84,000 but had to be used alongside other drugs.

While many critics aren’t amused by the quoted price, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) said that the price reflects the value of the medicine; unlike other treatments that have to be taken over a lifetime.

Concerns have also been raised whether insurance companies are ready to cover such a huge treatment costs yet there have been tensions between insurers and pharmaceuticals over pricing. Many patients have all along been forced to contribute money on top of their insurance premium value in order to meet the expensive costs of medication.

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