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Maker Of $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Looks To Cut Its Cost Overseas

(Shots, NPR) An effective new medicine is developed as a cure for a major disease. The drug company prices the medicine at tens of thousands of dollars for a course of treatment. How can the disease-curing medicine be made accessible to patients who need it, most of whom live in low- and middle-income countries?
It's well worth watching as drugmaker Gilead Sciences tries to solve this riddle for Solvadi, a newly approved drug for the deadly liver infection hepatitis C that afflicts more than 150 million people around the world.
Solvadi sells for $1,000 a pill in the U.S. That price means a three-month regimen for hepatitis C costs $84,000.
More than 3 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C. Many of them are poor or incarcerated. In the U.S., Gilead says it will rely on insurance coverage plus giveaway "patient assistance" programs for people who aren't insured.
Sensitive to anger over its pricing decision in the U.S., Gilead is talking to generic drugmakers in India about a licensing deal that would set the price at $2,000 per treatment course, or 2 percent of the U.S. price, for 60 low-income countries.
Even so, activists are very unhappy with Gilead.
Community: They’ll gouge Americans to subsidize other countries? So if you contract hepatitis C you have to move to a third-world country?
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