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Costly hepatitis C drugs could add $300 to every Americanís yearly premium, CVS says
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | July 21, 2014 | Stephanie M. Lee

Posted on 07/21/2014 3:27:15 PM PDT by artichokegrower

Gilead Sciences’ new hepatitis C drug receives as much praise for its healing powers as it receives criticism of its price, $84,000 for 12 weeks. Those parallel storylines played out even further in a prominent scientific journal’s latest edition, published online over the weekend.

(Excerpt) Read more at blog.sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: hepatitisc; hepatitusc; hepc; hepcdrug; obamacaredrugs
This is the problem with Obamacare. My old "substandard" health insurance policy did not have Hepatitis C coverage. In that this is a disease affecting mostly intravenous drug users and gay men I felt that I did not need this coverage. Now with the Obamacare mandates I will be forced to pay for Hepatitis C treatments for this group and my insurance rates will go up substantially. Thanks Obama.
1 posted on 07/21/2014 3:27:15 PM PDT by artichokegrower
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To: artichokegrower

Sovaldi saved my friends life. The previous regimine wasn’t successful and with out Sovaldi, she was looking at bleak prospects.

She also had less complications.


2 posted on 07/21/2014 3:30:05 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: artichokegrower

Not mine.


3 posted on 07/21/2014 3:33:31 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: artichokegrower
...with the Obamacare mandates I will be forced to pay for Hepatitis C treatments

Even without the Obamacare mandates we will be forced to pay for Hepatitis C treatments for prisoners. The courts will decree that not treating them with this drug would be cruel and unusual punishment, as bad as not giving prisoners sex change operations on demand.

4 posted on 07/21/2014 3:33:58 PM PDT by omega4412
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To: artichokegrower

Was this drug developed with research paid for in whole or in part by government research grants?


5 posted on 07/21/2014 3:34:59 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds)
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To: artichokegrower

More gifts of sodomy.....


6 posted on 07/21/2014 3:35:02 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem)
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To: Vendome
Sovaldi saved my friends life. The previous regimine wasn’t successful and with out Sovaldi, she was looking at bleak prospects.

I've been waiting for this to be available.... but my insurance doesn't cover it.

7 posted on 07/21/2014 3:36:02 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: artichokegrower
The estimated cost of a liver transplant is $577,100.
8 posted on 07/21/2014 3:37:54 PM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: artichokegrower

Apparently, Hep C got noted sodomites Gomer Pyle and Jack Kevorkian.


9 posted on 07/21/2014 3:41:42 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem)
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To: Jewbacca
More gifts of sodomy.....

Or dirty needles.

10 posted on 07/21/2014 3:45:46 PM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: Vendome

I’m glad to hear that. The other treatments available are toxic, work only about 40% of the time and you have to be on them for 6 months to a year. I could go on a long discussion of just how much it takes to actually bring a new medicine to market...much of the 17 year patent life chewed up in exhaustive clinical trials and a capricious FDA but I won’t. If they look to the total cost to treat, including the additional meds for Sovaldi alternatives, I’d bet the costs are about the same or less over a patients lifetime. I wouldn’t expect my insurance will cover it either. But I don’t need pregnancy coverage and a whole host of other things that I am required to have. While they are bashing Gilead, will they ever ask who paid for the traitorous Brad Manning’s sex change operation?


11 posted on 07/21/2014 3:48:18 PM PDT by SueRae (It isn't over. In God We Trust.)
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To: Sooth2222
The estimated cost of a liver transplant is $577,100.

Bingo. And the number of folks estimated to be running around with undetected HepC is impressive. The drug benefit justifies the expense. There should be enthusiasm for this drug - CURES do not come often. Yes the price is steep but not when compared to the costs of the eventual liver transplant.

12 posted on 07/21/2014 3:49:53 PM PDT by corkoman
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To: Fresh Wind
I did neither needles nor gay sex, but still got Hep C somehow. I suspect from a dentist (back in the day they didn't sanitize tools the way they do these days). Or, perhaps I got it somehow in my travels... haven't a clue.

Anyway... since I buy my own health insurance (and have done so ever since I left the corporate world 9 years ago) I can't have access to this cure... which really sucks.

So far the only people who are getting this wonder drug are people on welfare. Go figure.

13 posted on 07/21/2014 3:49:55 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: artichokegrower

On the bright side, this may just be the Medicare/Medicaid killer we’ve been waiting for. That’s going to be the biggest market for this drug, and they’re forbidden by law from negotiating the price.


14 posted on 07/21/2014 3:56:27 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: artichokegrower

Must have very active lobbyists. I hear them pushing the idea that boomers mysteriously have a high incidence of Hep and that all were to be tested. Sounds fishy to me.


15 posted on 07/21/2014 3:57:26 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: Cementjungle

I hear you. I recall a large number of Philadelphia firefighters acting as first responders also becoming infected. More sterile handling of wounded people has improved that but so many were infected many years ago, when there wasn’t even a test for it.


16 posted on 07/21/2014 4:05:43 PM PDT by SueRae (It isn't over. In God We Trust.)
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To: Sequoyah101
Have you been checked for HepC? Not saying you have it but that you might want to ask for it next opportunity.

Everyone. There is a very low probability of having it but worth the test. Early detection is good.

17 posted on 07/21/2014 4:14:59 PM PDT by corkoman
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To: Sooth2222

“The estimated cost of a liver transplant is $577,100.”

I was going to say, it is cheaper than a new liver. But then that’s not the issue here now is it?

The issue is that the government has absolutely no right, and absolutely no business, telling me that I MUST pay in order to subsidize other people’s treatment (or their bad choices).

My insurance policy terms should be a private contractual agreement between me and my insurance provider, based on my individual health needs on the one hand and the actuarial risk of insuring me on the other. The government should NOT be attempting to destroy private insurance by turning it into a form of socialized medicine.

As an individual I should NOT be forced to foot part of the bill for someone’s abortions, births, contraceptives, HIV drugs, or HepC drugs. My insurance premiums should address MY F***ING HEALTH COSTS! NOT EVERYONE ELSE’S!


18 posted on 07/21/2014 4:24:42 PM PDT by jameslalor
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To: jameslalor

My insurance premiums should address MY F***ING HEALTH COSTS! NOT EVERYONE ELSE’S!

<><><>><><><>

You appear to misunderstand the nature of insurance, which is all about the many (with low usage) paying for the few (with high usage). Like your car insurance.

Your insurance premiums have always paid for others, since the day you started paying the premiums.


19 posted on 07/21/2014 4:45:15 PM PDT by dmz
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To: Sooth2222

The estimated cost of a liver transplant is $577,100.

Then insurance premiums should go down. But that would probably be in the long run.


20 posted on 07/21/2014 4:50:08 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: artichokegrower

Hep C—another “social” disease for drug users, sodomites and prostitutes for the most part. But, I guess, we are not to interfere with anyones pleasure so we will be paying for those poor choices.


21 posted on 07/21/2014 5:15:33 PM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: Moonman62
"Then insurance premiums should go down. "

Not very likely with Obamacare, which has taken a dysfunctional and outrageously expensive health care system and made it even more dysfunctional and more outrageously expensive. Obamacare has resulted in a huge amount of drug price inflation. Gilead Sciences is taking advantage of pricing anomalies made possible by Obamacare, but they didn't create this, Obama did.

"This is what happens when a pill is priced at $1,000 a day in the U.S., and an entire treatment regimen of 84 of those pills costs just $900 in Egypt. Exact same medicine, completely different pricing."

I think if people purchased health insurance like they buy car insurance and life insurance and home insurance, we wouldn't be seeing prices anything like this. $300/year is optimistic.

22 posted on 07/21/2014 5:25:18 PM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: artichokegrower

If Monsanto can’t patent it’s seeds, how can Gilead Sciences’ patent their drug?


23 posted on 07/21/2014 5:29:16 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Vendome

If government had stayed out of medicine and health insurance, then these problems would work themselves out to the benefit of all. Doctors have been known to do many things for people without pay, but government has made the practice of medicine so difficult, that they have neither the time nor the extra money to help people on the side.

Can you imagine how much money would be freed up for helping people who cannot afford treatment if the government got out of the way and stopped making everything more expensive and less available?


24 posted on 07/21/2014 5:40:53 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: Cementjungle

My best friend who also never did drugs, etc. died from scirrosis at age 50 from Hep-C. They figured she got it when she worked as a nurses aid before all the ‘needle prick’ safety stuff.


25 posted on 07/22/2014 8:20:20 AM PDT by sheana
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To: artichokegrower

Isn’t CVS Obama’s chosen pharmacy?

Hubby picked up a script the other day. It was a generic drug. Copay was right at $20. Insurance paid $120ish. For a generic med. Crazy.


26 posted on 07/22/2014 8:24:42 AM PDT by petitfour
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To: corkoman
running around with undetected HepC

If HepC is undetectable, why do we need an expensive drug to treat it?

27 posted on 07/22/2014 8:47:53 AM PDT by palmer (This comment is not approved or cleared by FDA)
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To: sheana
Sorry to hear that... terrible. My doc says that as long as I avoid alcohol, it won't be the Hep C that eventually kills me. He says that virtually every HepC liver transplant patient has a history of drinking.

Still... I would like to get rid of it so I can drink again, as I do miss that.

28 posted on 07/22/2014 9:16:28 AM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: Cementjungle

She was no drinker either. Just fatal bad luck for her.


29 posted on 07/22/2014 9:20:03 AM PDT by sheana
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To: dmz

“You appear to misunderstand the nature of insurance, which is all about the many (with low usage) paying for the few (with high usage).”

No, you misunderstand insurance. The nature of insurance is to ensure a profit for the insurance company, which is accomplished via careful statistical analysis of individual risk factors and population averages for noteworthy health outcomes.

Insightful actuarial analysis allows insurance plans to be tailored such that the individual purchasing the plan may purchase coverage only for the types of incidents and procedures he feels necessary, while the insurance company may accurately determine the likely ultimate costs of those elements of coverage and charge a sufficient premium to make a profit.

An insurance policy is not designed to subsidize the whole population, only a halfwit or a socialist could come to that conclusion.

The price of an insurance policy is carefully calculated to recoup the average cost of insuring that specific type of individual with those specific elements of coverage, while providing the requisite profit margin for the company to continue to exist and grow. The price of an insurance policy is by no means designed to cover the costs of all health interventions among all people, nor should it, again only a halfwit or a socialist could come to that conclusion.

Insurance CANNOT exist if you force individual policy holders to pay for the risks of the whole population. It is NOT possible. But then apparently insurance is a difficult concept for some.


30 posted on 07/22/2014 12:23:34 PM PDT by jameslalor
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To: jameslalor

You can call me a half wit or a socialist as much as you want. You are an anonymous poster on an internet forum. Your name calling is just silly.

And you still misunderstand the nature of health insurance, no matter how many times you say half wit and socialist.

If you need a liver transplant (half a million bucks?), your premiums do not cover that, right? You are not paying 41,666 a month in premiums. Where does the rest of the money come from? The other members of the group. Read: the others paying into the pool of premiums for the group you are in.

It’s really not all that difficult a concept, is it? The risk is pooled. all the members pay into it, and that pool is used to pay the claims of the group’s members. Some need more, some need less. If you need more, thank the other members of the group. They covered your debt.

You wrote “The price of an insurance policy is carefully calculated to recoup the average cost of insuring that specific type of individual with those specific elements of coverage.”

You even say it yourself, the average cost. As in, spread over a population, recognizing that the claims experience of many in the population (group to use insurance talk) will be low, and a much smaller number will be higher. How do you not see that those with minimal claims experience are subsidizng those with higher claims experience?

You do realize that even with an individual policy, you are grouped with thousands of other individuals, thereby creating a group. You ain’t in this on your own.


31 posted on 07/22/2014 12:51:41 PM PDT by dmz
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To: palmer

If HepC is undetectable, why do we need an expensive drug to treat it?

<><>><

Undetected by the one with HepC.

The blood test used by the red cross to determine the suitability of your blood for use by others detects Hep C.


32 posted on 07/22/2014 12:54:30 PM PDT by dmz
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To: dmz

“If you need a liver transplant (half a million bucks?), your premiums do not cover that, right? You are not paying 41,666 a month in premiums.”

Your ignorance is showing. Your premium covers your RISK of a liver transplant, not the certainty of it nor the costs of the liver transplants of the whole country. YOUR average annual risk of liver disease is going to be a part of your insurance premium, NOT the average annual risk of liver disease for a 58-year-old alcoholic with HepC. Apparently that’s a difficult concept for you. Insurance cannot function properly if we require insurance plans to follow a national average risk profile versus tailored risk profiles based in individual factors. You obviously have no understanding of what the words “actuarial risk” mean.

“You even say it yourself, the average cost. As in, spread over a population...” Like many individuals you don’t even understand what the word “average” means. I’d be curious what you think “average life expectancy” means. But back to the topic at hand, we’re discussing individual average risk based on key lifestyle factors and key coverage options, not whole-population average risk factors for the entire country for all medical interventions — I repeat emphatically, insurance does not and cannot function like you think it does.

Insurance plans, the coverage options and the premiums involved, simply cannot be based on a single national average like you keep implying; the total costs would be so astronomical as to make insurance completely unfeasible. Insurance rates and the costs of coverage options can be calculated based on key individual risk factors, sorting individuals with specific behaviors and health profiles into similar categories that can be accurately analyzed for cost — and this is what is done.

By insuring a number of individuals with specific risk profiles we can get the “pooled risk” you discuss, by smoothing the influence of random chance happenings across multiple individuals with similar behavior patterns and profiles. Hence your insurance premium is influenced by whether or not you are a smoker or a non-smoker for example, because the average health risks facing a smoker are considerably higher than in a non-smoker with similar characteristics. The health risks facing a non-smoker are lower than either the national population average or the health risks of smokers, and hence non-smokers cost less to insure and can pay lower premiums. This is beneficial for both the insurance company and the non-smoker, as the non-smoker gets too pool his risk with other non-smokers while the insurance company gets to charge a low (but sufficient) premium on this group’s common risk patterns while still making a profit.

Insurance does not spread risk across the whole of the national population as you seem to think, that’s a mind-numbingly absurd assertion. Insurance works because it distributes risk across classes of individuals based on key health risk factors. Trying to turn insurance into a social good, using a national pool of risk rather than risk profiles based on key characteristics, would price the public out of insurance — period.

It is VERY important that you begin to understand these key facts, as liberals have been trying to muck with the clean functioning of insurance for decades in order to bring about a soft-approach to a single-payer healthcare system. For example, in some states it is unlawful to charge higher premiums to homosexuals, despite the massively increased health risks that particular demographic faces. What that means is non-homosexuals must then pay higher premiums in order to cover the costs of insuring homosexuals. Likewise, trying to force everyone in the nation to cover the insurance costs of everyone else would be a catastrophe, it would drastically raise the cost of insurance to the point that neither you nor most other people could reasonably afford it.

The cost of an INDIVIDUAL premium necessary to cover a national risk profile would be in the range of $13,000 with current national healthcare expenditures. The cost of a family insurance plan based on a national risk profile would be in excess of $32,000 a year based on 2013 national population and average family size.

Again, please please PLEASE understand this simple fact — your insurance premium is not based on the NATIONAL risk pool, it is based on a categorical risk pool. Your premium is based on the costs of ensuring YOUR type of person, not the national average. A LOT of actuarial science goes into carefully and accurately constructing insurance plans that tailor actual premiums to actual costs for CLASSES of individuals, not the nation as a whole. This is why insurance companies employ armies of actuaries, to disentangle national trends into individual factors and smaller profiles — this allows your insurance company to make a profit from insuring you AND offer you a premium you can actually afford.

Forcing insurance companies to cover everyone’s health care costs, rather than certain types of costs for certain types of individuals, is not possible. Period.


33 posted on 07/22/2014 5:26:42 PM PDT by jameslalor
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To: jameslalor

Where did I say national pool, I mentioned groups, but never once suggested that the pool was the entire nation. If that is the basis of your argument with me, you are arguing against a suggestion I never made.


34 posted on 07/23/2014 3:58:52 AM PDT by dmz
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