Saturday, May 2, 2015

This just makes me mad

As I said about being a poor patient, this really just makes me mad.

Gilead's hepatitis drug, newly released in fall 2014, has lead to record sales. Their sales in the first quarter of 2015 were $4.55 billion (with a b, not an m) alone and their total sales were over $12 billion which lead them to a profit of over $4 billion as well. That's a hell of a lot of money. And the retail price for their lovely new Hepatitis C drug, Harvoni, which is so affordable, is $95,000 per patient. That is not a typo.

While some say it is affordable, it really isn't. The state of California, for example, can't afford it.

This really just makes me mad. Here we have a pharma company which created a life saving drug and then they price it so outrageously that its unaffordable. And they are so profitable at the same time that it is really difficult to accept the price of this drug. Oh sure the insurance companies will pay for it (great - that will just end up in your premiums) and they have programs to help you pay, but why don't they just make it more affordable to begin with.

What really irks me about this whole issue of high priced drugs is that when the Affordable Care Act was being implemented there were lots of worries that the government would some how put a price on the value of a human life. We don't have to do that because the government is not putting a price on our lives, the pharma companies are.

Okay, I just needed to vent a bit.

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