Until recently, treating hepatitis C (HCV) required 24 weeks or more of weekly injections with a regimen including peginterferon alfa. These drug combinations often failed to cure the HCV infection and came with many side effects.
However, it's been a breakthrough year for HCV treatment, with many new, more effective and safer options taking the spotlight. Spearheading the way has been sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), a nucleotide polymerase inhibitor that allows for oral dosing, interferon-free treatment for many and a shorter treatment course.
But the drug's introduction -- and its high baseline price tag -- has stirred considerable debate. Let's examine the brief history of sofosbuvir and how its controversial price could impact future health care costs.