Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Louisiana considers radical step to counter high drug prices: Federal intervention; Washington Post, July 3, 2017

Carolyn Y. Johnson, Washington Post; Louisiana considers radical step to counter high drug prices: Federal intervention

"Gilead, a company that has projected between $7.5 billion and $9 billion in sales for 2017 for its hepatitis C drugs, says federal intervention would threaten future progress.

In a statement, the company said the proposal “puts in jeopardy further medical innovation by undermining the patent system and de-incentivizing research and development.” Gilead said that the state’s predictions of the budget impact are unrealistic, based on the idea that the entire infected population could be screened, treated and connected to treatment in a year. Gilead offers states that do not restrict access to treatments deep discounts — less than $30,000 for a 12-week treatment...

Gee said that she is not wedded to one approach and that she simply thinks the equity and access problems that are an outgrowth of high drug prices need to be tackled. After receiving the expert panel’s recommendation, Gee put out the proposal for public comment and received 102, a majority of which were in favor of taking some action. She expects to make a decision soon about a strategy to try to eliminate hepatitis C in Louisiana."

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