New Hepatitis C Drug Costs $84K in US, Only $900 in Egypt

| by Michael Allen

U.S. drug maker Gilead Sciences is charging Americans $84,000 for its new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, but offers the same drug in Egypt for only $900.

As a result, Medicaid and many private insurance companies have not authorized coverage of Sovaldi in the U.S.

In over 90 percent of its clinical trials, Sovaldi treatments were able to cure hepatitis C.

Gilead Sciences says it created a pricing tier for Sovaldi based on each country's per capita gross national income, notes Reuters.

In the UK, Sovaldi costs about $57,000, but goes for $66,000 in Germany.

However, critics say the drug is way out of reach for most Americans, who would do better by flying to Egypt, the UK or Germany to buy Sovaldi.

Sovaldi was quickly approved by the FDA last year after being labeled a "breakthrough therapy."

Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) recently sent a letter to Gilead Sciences questioning the high price of the drug for Americans, reports The New York Times.

The letter, sent out last Thursday, stated, “Our concern is that a treatment will not cure patients if they cannot afford it."

However, the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) recently claimed that the $84,000 price tag for Americans was "quite a bargain."

The ACSH also defends fracking and pesticides, as it receives donations from corporations with financial interests, noted Mother Jones in 2013.

Sources: Mother Jones, American Council on Science and Health, The New York Times, Reuters