Call it the copay dance. Payers use high copays to steer patients away from pricey brands and toward cheaper alternatives, or even cheaper generics. Drugmakers use copay coupons and cards to steer patients back on course toward their brands.
The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdogs gave a thumbs up to Gilead Sciences' combo hepatitis C pill Harvoni, despite its £39,000 price, or about $58,000. The pill combines Gilead's new blockbuster hep C drug Sovaldi with another antiviral, ledipasvir, and has delivered impressive cure rates.
Just days after Gilead COO John Milligan told investors to expect negotiations for its hep C franchise to unfold very quickly in Europe, Germany has said it has a deal to buy Sovaldi at €41,000 for a 12-week course. That is deeply discounted from the initial price of €56,500 with which the company started.
SINGAPORE-- Here's some expansion news for AbbVie's hepatitis C franchise. The U.S.-based drugmaker has asked Japanese regulators to approve its antiviral cocktail, hoping to grab a piece of that market as it fights for share in the States.
Gilead Sciences is setting up a new commercial headquarters in London, as a beachhead for growth in the U.K. and beyond. Together with expansions in R&D, the new HQ will double Gilead's work force in England to 600, with 400 of those employees based in London.
Gilead Sciences might have expected a hepatitis C patent challenge in India. But in Europe? Not so much. But that's exactly what Gilead is getting. After losing its bid for a new Indian patent covering its blockbuster treatment Sovaldi, Gilead is now threatened with a similar action at the European Patent Office in Munich.
SINGAPORE-- As soon as the Delhi High Court revived Gilead Sciences' patent hopes for Sovaldi, a new actor has come on the scene: Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, which has joined three other plaintiffs in opposing the new patent.
SINGAPORE-- Undeterred by its loss of a new patent bid for its Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) hepatitis C drug in India, Gilead Sciences put together package deals with 8 of the country's generics makers to add an experimental drug to a deal for low-cost copies in 91 poor countries around the world. Meanwhile, Gilead said Sovaldi won marketing approval this month in India and it's off and running in that country.
Gilead Sciences reportedly inked its first hepatitis C discount deals in Germany, and it's announcing a new offer to bring a Sovaldi follow-up to India even before it's approved in the U.S.
The hepatitis C market is breaking new ground all over the place. As payers put the squeeze on Gilead Sciences and AbbVie for discounts in the U.S., England's National Health Service is delaying a broad rollout of Gilead's blockbuster Sovaldi till July, citing the drug's high cost--an unprecedented move on a treatment already blessed by the country's cost-effectiveness watchdogs.