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WEALTH OF HEALTH


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Hepatitis C drug highlights dilemmas of cost, access

By Ira Zunin

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 16, 2014

~~<p>Gilead Sciences recently brought to market a product called Sovaldi, a breakthrough treatment for the most common form of hepatitis C. The total medication cost is roughly $84,000 per patient, or $1,000 per day for 12 weeks. The new medication works well and cures the disease in about 90 percent of cases.</p>
<p>The problem is that more than 3.2 million Americans suffer from a chronic form of hepatitis C. The total cost to treat appropriate candidates is staggering -- $300 billion. In its first full quarter, sales amounted to nearly $2.3 billion and Gilead's stock price almost doubled in the past 12 months. Such high costs create an ethical dilemma with gripping questions spanning from how these prices are set to who should have access to treatment and who should pay.</p>
~~

Gilead Sciences recently brought to market a product called Sovaldi, a breakthrough treatment for the most common form of hepatitis C. The total medication cost is roughly $84,000 per patient, or $1,000 per day for 12 weeks. The new medication works well and cures the disease in about 90 percent of cases.

The problem is that more than 3.2 million Americans suffer from a chronic form of hepatitis C. The total cost to treat appropriate candidates is staggering -- $300 billion. In its first full quarter, sales amounted to nearly $2.3 billion and Gilead's stock price almost doubled in the past 12 months. Such high costs create an ethical dilemma with gripping questions spanning from how these prices are set to who should have access to treatment and who should pay. Login for more...



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