Правительство Франции согласовало с Gilead Sciences цену на препарат "Sovaldi"
The French government has made good on a promise to extract a low price from Gilead Sciences for the Sovaldi hepatitis C treatment.
The fixed price reduced the cost by about 27%, and so a 12-week regimen will now be priced at $51,400, instead of $71,100. This makes this the “lowest price in Europe,” according to the Economic Committee for Health Products. There is also stipulation that rebates will be made in the event of “treatment failure,” according to a statement from the agency.
The discount is not entirely surprising. The French health ministry had signaled several months ago that Gilead would have to offer a discount since France is working hard to contain costs and also expressed concern that not all patients would have access. To underscore the point, French officials added that information would be exchanged with 13 other European countries that also want a price break.
And as part of its bargaining strategy, France also announced plans to selectively tax drug makers when the total cost of their medicines exceeds a certain amount each year. The idea was to ensure all patients can access new and more effective treatments, while limiting the impact on national finances. About 200,000 people in France are infected with hepatitis C.
The price is considerably lower than the $84,000 cost for Sovaldi in the U.S., where the expense caused a shockwave this year among public and private payers who feared the medication would be a budget buster. With a cure rate exceeding 90%, Sovaldi became a widely prescribed blockbuster, although Gilead was also criticized for its pricing.
Whether Gilead will offer similar discounts to other European countries that were working with French officials is not clear. We asked Gilead for comment and will update you accordingly. Gilead is already offering Sovaldi at low prices elsewhere, such as $900 in Egypt, and recently reached licensing deals with seven large generic drug makers based in India to sell generic versions in 91 developing countries.
However, Sovaldi is already being eclipsed by a still newer Gilead treatment known as Harvoni which, unlike its predecessor, does not need to be taken in combination with older drugs that cause unwanted side effects. Although Harvoni has been available only a few weeks, prescriptions have been growing at rapid clip, while Sovaldi prescriptions have declined, according to Leerink analyst Howard Liang.
The discounts that Gilead is offering may be useful in a couple of ways. For one, this maintains demand and some revenue for an older treatment that is being cannibalized by a newer product. And the willingness to offer discounts can smooth relations with cash-strapped governments when it comes time to haggle over another product, whether its Harvoni or a rival treatment.