By Sandhya Somashekhar
March 1, 2014
When the Food and Drug Administration approved a medication called Sovaldi in December, it was hailed as a breakthrough in the fight against hepatitis C, a blood-borne disease that affects 3.2 million Americans and kills more people in the U.S. annually than AIDS.
Then California-based Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer, announced the price: $84,000 for a 12-week course, more than what many cancer treatments cost in a year.
The hefty price tag has rattled patient advocacy groups and insurance companies, who say most costly new treatments coming on the market are targeted for a smaller patient population. Putting such a premium on a drug that could help so many will be crushing, they say.