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Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C

"Ask the Experts": Why Does Sovaldi (Sofosbuvir) Cost $84,000 and Will the Price Drop?

The following is a physician-patient interaction that took place within TheBody.com's "Ask the Experts" forum on hepatitis.

Sofosbuvir
Dec 15, 2013

Hi Dr. Taylor!

I'm really excited that Sofosbuvir has passed! My cousin has been in that "warehouse" waiting for Sofosbuvir to be passed because she wasn't responding very well to other treatments because she had the genotype 2.

Ok, but something I wanted to ask you about was the cost. Medscape said the cost for treatment would be around $80,000?! We've helped out my cousin in the past for med costs, but it hasn't nearly been that high. In the case that the cost will lower in the future and given that she does not have severe liver infections, could she actually wait to start taking the treatment?

Response from Dr. Taylor

Genotype 2 overall, is the easiest genotype of hepatitis C to treat, so I am sorry that your cousin was not cured with interferon. It is the case that not everyone gets cured.

The recommendation for sofosbuvir with genotype 2 is for 12 weeks one sofosbuvir once daily, plus weight-based ribavirin pills twice daily.

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Unfortunately yes the cost in the U.S. now is estimated at $1000 per day, about $84,000 for 12 weeks of sofosbuvir!!! Important activists including Tracy Swan at TAG in NY and others, are working to try to change this. Health insurance should pay for genotype 2 as the sofosbuvir label includes this indication.

Getting treated now or waiting for less expensive treatment -- this ideally is based on the degree of scarring in the liver. Extensive scarring may exist in the absence of symptoms, meaning we can feel fine and have cirrhosis of the liver. Your cousin should discuss with her doctor how much scarring is estimated to exist in her liver. If none or mild, sure she can wait. Remember this is the case for most people. In the meantime, not using alcohol and tobacco remains very important. All the best to you and your cousin.

Return to our full listing of answers to patients' frequently asked questions regarding hepatitis C transmission, testing, management and treatment.





This article was provided by TheBodyPRO.com.
 

 

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