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Pharmaceutical Prices, Patents, and the FDA


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pharmaceutical-prices-patents-and-fdaMises: Pharmaceutical Prices, Patents, and the FDA

AUGUST 17, 2015Timothy D. Terrell


In this article by economist Jeffrey Sachs, pharmaceutical company Gilead is taken to task for selling its hepatitis C cure, Sofosbuvir (sold as Sovaldi), at a price of $84,000 per course of treatment. Sachs says that the actual production cost of Sofosbuvir is about $100.


Sachs says that Gilead is "bilking the taxpayer" by charging the Sachs says that Gilead is "bilking the taxpayer" by charging the government prices far above production costs — and government is probably paying for most of the Sofosbuvir drugs. Sachs further complains that people will die because of Gilead's refusal to cut the price to something more affordable.


Gilead, Sachs says, bought the patent rights to Sofosbuvir for $11 billion in 2011, and took the drug through the last stages of FDA approval, which came at the end of 2013. Gilead made $12.4 billion in 2014 from Sofosbuvir, and Sachs says that first quarter sales of the drug brought in revenues of $4.6 billion. Scissors-32x32.png

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