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In a surprising move, Gilead Sciences (GILD) early next year will begin selling so-called authorized generic versions of its two leading hepatitis C treatments — Epclusa and Harvoni — at significantly lower prices that the company claims will offer “substantial savings” to Medicaid and other patients.

The effort, which was met with intrigue on Wall Street but skepticism among patient advocates, comes as Gilead struggles to compete in a hepatitis C market that it once dominated with sky-high prices before rivals began undercutting its market share with lower pricing.

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