A new lawsuit claims $84,000 is way too much for this lifesaving drug

The federal lawsuit from Philadelphia’s public transit agency appears to be the first directly challenging the price of Sovaldi, which costs $84,000 overall during a normal 12-week course of treatment in the United States. Since Gilead Sciences launched Sovaldi last year, the drug has shattered sales records and set off a contentious debate about how to make treatments affordable and accessible while also encouraging drugmakers to invest in new drug development. Gilead officials on Thursday said they’re still reviewing the lawsuit. The company has previously said it priced Sovaldi and its latest hepatitis C drug, Harvoni, based on previously available treatments. Harvoni, which can treat a broader set of hepatitis C patients, was launched in October and is priced slightly higher at $1,125 per pill, though some patients will be able to finish treatment in eight weeks instead of 12.

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