Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

$1, 000 a Pill, Sovaldi Jolts US Health Care System
abc news ^ | 6-17-2014 | RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR

Posted on 06/17/2014 10:46:23 AM PDT by Citizen Zed

Sovaldi, a new pill for hepatitis C, cures the liver-wasting disease in 9 of 10 patients, but treatment can cost more than $90,000.

Leading medical societies recommend the drug as a first-line treatment, and patients are clamoring for it. But insurance companies and state Medicaid programs are gagging on the price. In Oregon, officials propose to limit how many low-income patients can get Sovaldi.

Yet if Sovaldi didn't exist, insurers would still be paying in the mid-to-high five figures to treat the most common kind of hepatitis C, a new pricing survey indicates. Some of the older alternatives involve more side effects, and are less likely to provide cures.

So what's a fair price?

(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: gougeingbastards
Maybe Obama can just declare the pill free?
1 posted on 06/17/2014 10:46:23 AM PDT by Citizen Zed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed

Sounds like pure opportunity costing.


2 posted on 06/17/2014 10:50:25 AM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed

That pill will probably be available over-the-counter in some country overseas.


3 posted on 06/17/2014 10:51:36 AM PDT by 353FMG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed
Maybe Obama can just declare the pill free?

Better yet - just sign an executive order banning hepatitis C!

4 posted on 06/17/2014 10:54:46 AM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed

Saved my friend’s life...

Nothing else worked....


5 posted on 06/17/2014 11:03:15 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed
This from NPR...
Dr Camilla Graham of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston thinks that the high cost of the new hepatitis C treatments might be justified.

"Maybe we decide that $100,000 is a worthwhile investment to cure someone of an otherwise devastating chronic infection," Graham says. After all, it can now cost up to $300,000 to treat patients with advanced hepatitis C, using less effective and more harrowing regimens.

Graham is a hep-C specialist. So she knows firsthand how the slow-moving virus kills patients by destroying their livers and causing liver cancer. The virus is the main reason that nearly 17,000 Americans are waiting for a liver transplant.

Source: npr.org


6 posted on 06/17/2014 11:03:43 AM PDT by RoosterRedux (Obama: Race is his cover...jihad is his game.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vendome
Yep.

In most cases, Sovaldi is an absolute cure...and at 1/3 the price of other treatments that often don't work and have bad side effects.

7 posted on 06/17/2014 11:05:59 AM PDT by RoosterRedux (Obama: Race is his cover...jihad is his game.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed

How about waiting for India to make their own pirated version, subsequently importing it via the internet?

/s


8 posted on 06/17/2014 11:08:47 AM PDT by bkopto (Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: I am Richard Brandon

For that kind of money, I’d like a GUARANTEED cure to come with it (money back if not cured). In that case, given the cost (or even availability) of a liver transplant and it’s attendant lifetime maintenance, it would be a bargain.

HOW COME medical crap is the ONLY THING still sold without a guarantee? Why would that be unreasonable?


9 posted on 06/17/2014 11:09:17 AM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: I am Richard Brandon
I am a health insurance agent.
Many injectable, refrigerated drugs with short shelf lives are very expensive.
I have a transplant patient client whose RX bill is well over $60,000 a year, and she would be broke or dead without her Part D plan paying most of that for her.
10 posted on 06/17/2014 11:10:04 AM PDT by Kansas58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: bkopto

“How about waiting for India to make their own pirated version, subsequently importing it via the internet?”

Wow, if they could do that, it would make dope dealers look like paupers.


11 posted on 06/17/2014 11:10:32 AM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: The Antiyuppie

Can you get that “guarantee” to include monitoring of their drinking and smoking habits, their diet and exercise habits and sleep habits?
Do we want such controls?
No we do not.
That is your answer.


12 posted on 06/17/2014 11:12:05 AM PDT by Kansas58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: The Antiyuppie

India has been able to do some interesting things with Aids drugs. I would not put it past them.


13 posted on 06/17/2014 11:12:38 AM PDT by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: The Antiyuppie

Start your own medical clinic, hire doctors and give that guarantee.

Get back to us.


14 posted on 06/17/2014 11:16:29 AM PDT by RoadGumby (This is not where I belong, Take this world and give me Jesus.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Kansas58

So?


15 posted on 06/17/2014 11:19:58 AM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: The Antiyuppie

They dont call it practicing medicine for nothing..


16 posted on 06/17/2014 11:29:26 AM PDT by cableguymn (It's time for a second political party.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed
"In Oregon, officials propose [death panels] to limit how many low-income patients can get Sovaldi. "

At least THAT part of PelosiReidcare is working...

17 posted on 06/17/2014 11:29:34 AM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed

That’s crazy.


18 posted on 06/17/2014 11:30:23 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: I am Richard Brandon

So, your question about cost must be answered with an understanding of the drug involved, hard to make, hard to keep in a usable form.
Also, your comments should be balanced with the fact that other drugs are also very expensive. Shelf life can have a great deal to do with expense.
Product liability costs can also be huge.
Balance those costs against the benefit to the patients.
And the benefits to the claims payers, government and insurance companies alike.


19 posted on 06/17/2014 11:41:43 AM PDT by Kansas58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Vendome

I have 4 weeks to go on the Sovaldi treatment. The virus is undetectable now and the doctors think it will stay that way. I have taken the standard treatment twice before and as soon as the treatment stopped the virus returned.

I was close to needing a transplant. My liver enzyme numbers are now in the low normal range and my platelets are higher than they have been for 15 years.

This drug is fantastic. There are few if any side effects unlike the other treatment that requires excessive monitoring which runs the costs up with the Sovaldi program. Plus, many folks feel suicidal when taking the interferon, so much so, all of the manufacturers have a corporate nurse call you weekly while taking the interferon.

This cost equation being offered isn’t examining all the factors.

This will pass...Gilead has another drug that is expected to clear the FDA in October that has a 100% cure rate and within 2 years or so there will be a vaccine released that will end the death and suffering from this insidious disease.

I caught the virus 35 years ago from a tainted blood transfusion related to a surgical procedure. I’ve never been a drinker, yet I have non-alcoholic cirrhosis in the 4/5 range. Hopefully killing the virus will help my liver rejuvenate enough the canalization of my Aorta will cease and the fibrosis will decrease thus reducing the cancer threat.

Right now in America 16,000 people die annually from this disease...what is the cost of that, both financially and emotionally?


20 posted on 06/17/2014 11:41:56 AM PDT by bigfootbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed
There is a difference between the cost of producing a drug and the cost of the research necessary to find what drug to produce.

The real problem is that the courts will rule that it is "cruel and unusual punishment" if the taxpayers don't provide this treatment to all the druggies in prison who have Hep C.

21 posted on 06/17/2014 11:59:22 AM PDT by omega4412
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kansas58

And it is just pure coincidence that there is not much cost difference between the new pill and the old treatment?


22 posted on 06/17/2014 11:59:57 AM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed

That’s $90,000 for the “rich” Americans. If you’re an Egyptian you only pay about $900.


23 posted on 06/17/2014 12:06:16 PM PDT by lwd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bigfootbob

Awesome you!!!

My friend started Sovaldi witin a week of approval(Nov/Dec).

Like you, she experienced less complications compared with the other treatments.

So glad for you and hope you stay well.


24 posted on 06/17/2014 12:14:15 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: I am Richard Brandon

I think you belong on the Democrat Underground site, as you seem to want the government to run everything.


25 posted on 06/17/2014 12:38:14 PM PDT by Kansas58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed

I was diagnosed with Hep c back in 2001. I got into an experimental program using pegalated interferon and ribavarin. A month before I started on the regimen I ordered some medicinal mushroom capsules and started taking them. My blood tests showed that my viral load had dropped by 50% and when I told my doctor what I had been doing he really didn’t want to hear it. I went on the program and I’ve never been sicker in my life but I have no Hep C today.


26 posted on 06/17/2014 1:14:17 PM PDT by dljordan (WhoVoltaire: "To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bigfootbob

Very good to hear :) (but the cost is a bit insane :/)


27 posted on 06/17/2014 1:46:53 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Molon Labe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Bikkuri

Thank you. Yes, the cost is insane. So is interferon and it didn’t work twice for me and a host of others. I believe the interferon cure rate is 40-50%.

Each interferon injection cost $1,000.00 too, but the standard treatment I had required weekly injections, not daily. There are some people who have had to take daily interferon injections while they are an end stage transplant priority patient.

Yes, the costs are insane and with all 3 of my treatments, including the Sovaldi, the manufacturer provides price savings to patients and insurers alike. The point I was hoping to make, when you factor in the costs associated just on meds and treatment alone while a large group of patients called non-responders or relapsers are moving forward with transplantation or death, Sovaldi even as costly as it is, will be a cheaper method of treatment. Fix it in 24 weeks and be done.


28 posted on 06/17/2014 2:22:41 PM PDT by bigfootbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed

Cured my brother of HepC.


29 posted on 06/17/2014 2:31:37 PM PDT by mware
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kansas58

“Can you get that “guarantee” to include monitoring of their drinking and smoking habits, their diet and exercise habits and sleep habits?
Do we want such controls?”

They don’t guarantee the simplest thing. Nothing. Zero.

Well, that’s not entirely true - I believe that there IS one drug company who actually did this with one drug, and I was impressed.


30 posted on 06/17/2014 2:33:30 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Kansas58

Never said that sir. And I don’t. But I know how corporations price their stuff. Price as high as possible - instant high profit - because they can! Doesn’t always work out well - Xerox tried it, and how much of the copier hardware market do they make now? Smarter to price lower and keep the competition from stealing your market.


31 posted on 06/17/2014 2:36:08 PM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: bigfootbob
My bother finished the series last month. Totally clear of Hep C.

He is on the liver transplant list but very far down the line.

About 10 years ago the doctors tried another cure (can't remember what it was) but he was as sick as a dog. Told me about a month ago, that the thought of killing himself entered into his mind, but for the sake of his wife and sons he could not do it.

32 posted on 06/17/2014 2:37:13 PM PDT by mware
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: mware

Sounds like the right solution. Obama will do something to take it away from future patients.


33 posted on 06/17/2014 2:38:35 PM PDT by Citizen Zed ("Freedom costs a buck o five" - Gary Johnston, TAWP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: The Antiyuppie

“HOW COME medical crap is the ONLY THING still sold without a guarantee?”

I can guarantee you will die. Life is a sexually transmitted disease which is 100% fatal.


34 posted on 06/17/2014 2:46:08 PM PDT by outofsalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: mware

Thank God your brother made it through. Many didn’t. The interferon/ribivirin therapy used 10 years ago is what I used twice and was the only drug available that did anything.

Many people have this disease and have no idea they have it all the while their liver is under constant attack.


35 posted on 06/17/2014 6:53:26 PM PDT by bigfootbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Zed

I knew of a Chinese guy with Hepatitis C. His mother a true Tiger Mom was always disappointed that he didn’t have Hepatitis A+


36 posted on 06/17/2014 6:58:13 PM PDT by RFEngineer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson