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Published: May 10, 2016

What have we learned from high-cost hepatitis C medications?

What we’ve learned from the introduction of high-cost hepatitis C drugs should be used for effective stakeholder alignment and the rollout of future curative therapies:

  1. The development of Sovaldi, Harvoni and other leading-edge therapies for hepatitis C was driven in large part by payer and patient demands for drugs with proven cure rates. Manufacturers responded in kind and began to supply these kinds of drugs.
  2. Not unexpectedly, drugs with proven cure rates tend to be more expensive than maintenance drugs. For example, Solvadi® has a list price of $1,000 per pill. That adds up to an $84,000 overall treatment cost to cure most patients of hepatitis C.
  3. Even though it was known that demand for these therapies would be high, there was no good rollout strategy in place at launch to promote the benefits versus the higher cost for these drugs. A much better scenario would have involved more meaningful discussions between the payers, PBMs and manufacturers in advance based on the premise that, “Yes, these drugs are different. However they will cure this disease state without the unbearable side effects and over a (most of the time) 12-week period.”

To watch Marc’s video on the changing specialty pharmacy patient experience, visit Specialty Pharmacy Times.

Want to continue the conversation on how the patient experience will evolve in the near future? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email.

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