Driven by Sovaldi sales, Gilead's profits up 246% in Q3

Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences, the maker of hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, has reported its revenues increased to $6.04 billion in the third quarter of this year, up from $2.78 billion posted in the third quarter of 2013.

The increased revenues were due to substantial product sales growth. Gilead's product sales for the third quarter increased to $5.97 billion compared to $2.71 billion for the third quarter of last year.

Gilead's net income also significantly increased from $788.6 million in the third quarter of 2013 to $2.73 billion for the third quarter of this year.

The increase in profits was fueled by Gilead's sale of Sovaldi — the company's first generation hepatitis C pill. Total sales for Gilead's six antiviral medications were $5.54 billion for the third quarter, and Sovaldi made up $2.79 billion of those sales.

A typical 12-week drug regimen of Sovaldi costs $84,000, and its high price tag has drawn extensive criticism. In July, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Judiciary Committee's ranking member, sent a letter seeking justification from Gilead for Sovaldi's hefty price tag.

Gilead's newest hepatitis C pill Harvoni costs $94,500 for a 12-week course of treatment, which has states concerned, since many patients who need hepatitis C treatments have low incomes. Although it's unclear how state Medicaid programs will handle the cost of Harvoni, it is likely prior approvals will be used when prescribing the drug.

More articles on third quarter financial results: 

Aetna posts $594.5M profit for Q3, raises earnings outlook
Universal Health Services' net income down $31.8M in Q3
HCA's net income up $153M in Q3

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