W

ith an eye toward making a low-cost hepatitis C treatment available in numerous countries, a nonprofit says that a mid-stage study showed an experimental combination of two pills appeared safe and effective, while offering high cure rates for hard-to-treat patients.

The results were greeted with enthusiasm by patient advocacy groups, because once testing is completed, the nonprofit hopes to register the combination treatment in middle-income countries, starting with Malaysia, where it could be sold for $300, or about half the price of existing treatment in that country.

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  • May I observe, although it could be my ‘1st world bias,’ that cutting the price of a drug by 50% – from 600 USD to 300 USD doesn’t seem to be ‘breaking’ much? Especially when one considers Gilead helped arrange the 600 USD price …. down from the 84,000 USD cited in the post. (That price is after all a 99.3% reduction?!)

    • But Ed, you note that “The Gilead licensing arrangement also drew criticism because it excluded some middle-income countries, such as Malaysia” yet say that the 99%+ reduction in US cost for Malaysia is the doing of Gilead. Maybe the authorized generics are cheaper, though no mention is made of what these cost. Nevertheless, when you give a 99%+ discount and it’s not enough, you’re essentially asking that it be made for free. Sorry, but pharmaceuticals are an engine of amazing medical progress and I’m tired of the US carrying the cost of that for the rest of the world, including those who actually could pay for it but still impose cost controls.

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