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Pharmaceutical Firm Queried Over High Price of Hepatitis C Drug

A new medicine to treat hepatitis C is creating a lot of controversy because of its price tag. The maker of Sovaldi, Gilead Sciences, is planning to charge as much as $84,000 for a course of treatment.

This drug is the first in a new generation of oral anti-viral therapies for hepatitis C and it is being hailed as a breakthrough. The cure rate is higher and side effects are fewer than with other treatment.

It is estimated that as many as 3 million Americans are infected with this virus, so sales could quickly add up to billions of dollars annually for the company. Congress and insurance companies are questioning the high price, especially since the company will be selling the drug for substantially less in other countries.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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