Excessive Drug Costs Could Cause Price Caps

Gilead Sciences’ drug, Sovaldi, which treats hepatitis C, is currently on the market for $1,000 per pill. The high cost raises questions on whether government should regulate the cost of the life-saving drug and others of it’s kind, according to an article in Modern Healthcare.

Sovaldi has proven to be a very effective treatment, with a cure rate of more than 80%. The problem is the cost to insurers and patients: a 12-week treatment costs $84,000.

Related Post: Excessive Drug Costs Could Cause Price Caps

Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, agrees something needs to be done.

“We need to sit together to begin talking about how we can attack this problem together before the government has to. We cannot sustain six-figure therapies and we’re at the beginning of that trend,” she said in the article.

Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry are quick to point out the high costs of developing these life-saving drugs. John Castellani, president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, feels the FDA approval process needs updating.

“It costs on average $1.2 billion, and takes 10 to 12 years to get a drug to market. We have to modernize the discovery process. We can only be as innovative as our regulator,” said Castellani.

Ignagni, however, believes pharmaceutical companies should decrease pricing to avoid governmental intervention.

Related Post: Costs Spike As Pharma Companies Reprice Old Drugs

“Manufacturers are charging whatever they can get away with,” Ignagni said. “We can’t have a system that operates that way. We can’t sustain it. Talking about price is often akin to calling fire in a crowded room. No one wants to do it until they have to,” she said.

Please read the Entire Article by Paul Demko here.

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