Hepatitis C ‘cure’ costs $1000 a day—$80k total

| April 13, 2014

Hmmmm. No need for healthcare reform, eh? Once again, here’s evidence that we live in an oligarchy driven world. Freedom, power, even healthcare are available to all—all who have money, that is. This is not to say that corporations shouldn’t make money given what they invest in research but when the cure is reserved only for the most economically elite, what point are we making? Certainly goes against the concept Jesus taught by healing the sick at no charge—and then offering them salvation, again free. Seems that in a Christian nation… Oh, never mind!

New Hepatitis C ‘Cure’ Hailed as a Breakthrough, Costs $1000 a Day

New Hepatitis C 'Cure' Hailed as a Breakthrough, Costs $1000 a DayAn international study involving 380 patients has seen 90% of patients “cured” of Hepatitis C in the course of 12 weeks. Experts are calling the treatment a turning point in the treatment of the pernicious disease, which wreaks havoc on the livers of those it infects. Too bad it costs over $80,000 for a course of treatment.

Above: Electron micrographs of hepatitis C virus purified from cell culture via Wikimedia Commons

The treatment goes by the name of Sovaldi and was created by Gilead Sciences. The BBC has a good rundown of the study:

Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Centre tested the new oral drug in 380 patients at 78 centres in Spain, Germany, England and the US in 2013. Two studies were carried out, one in patients for 12 weeks, and another, for 24 weeks. The patients had liver cirrhosis, indicating an advanced form of the virus.

After 12 weeks, 191 of 208 patients no longer had hepatitis C, which increased to 165 of 172 patients, or 96%, after 24 weeks. Lead researcher, Dr Fred Poordad said: “It is fantastic. I am so excited for the patients. There is finally hope for their future.” He said the drug worked by targeting the protein that makes hepatitis C and stopping it from replicating. “Eventually the virus is extinguished,” he said.

All excellent news, of course. The bad news is that the treatment is ridiculously expensive. Gilead has proposed a global, tiered pricing system that is based on each country’s per capita gross national income. According to Reuters, the cost for a full course of treatment in the U.K. is about $57,000; the price in Germany around $66,000; and the price in America around $84,000. That’s close to $1,000 a pill for U.S. residents.

via New Hepatitis C ‘Cure’ Hailed as a Breakthrough, Costs $1000 a Day.

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