Hepatitis C “life saving” drug too expensive

New drug has made $3.6 billion in profits in six months

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Doctors are raving about a new Hepatitis C medication that eliminates pricking patients with shots, but does have catch. 22News has the drawback’s latest details.

On Tuesday, a doctor from Holyoke Medical Center called the new drug “life saving” for 3 million Americans living with the disease, but a glance at its price tag may turn some insurance companies away.

Solvadi made its way to pharmacies just six months ago, and has taken in a $3.6 billion profit. Per pill, insurance companies are charged one thousand dollars, a price that seems too steep to some. Dr. Amy Jaworek told 22News it’s more effective than any other treatment on the market.

“Its part of a combination regimen we haven’t had before to treat Hepatitis C. We’ve had good success rates with that and the period of care and therapy is between three and six months depending on the strain of Hepatitis C. Most folks are able to get by with three months,” said Dr. Jaworek.

The prescription has climbed to the top Hepatitis C treatments, toppling older drugs that aren’t nearly as effective. World-wide, nearly one hundred and fifty million people are infected with the viral liver disease, adding to the medicine’s high demand. Prices will eventually drop, but until then, most insurance companies in Massachusetts cover the cost.

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