Gilead Sciences hit with antitrust suit over Sovaldi pricing

The Southern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or Septa, has filed a lawsuit against Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences, the maker of $1,000-per-pill hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, accusing the company of "price-gouging," according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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.

In 2014, Septa spent at least $2.4 million on Sovaldi for its employees and retirees who are members of the health plan it funds, according to the report.

Septa's lawsuit alleges Gilead has engaged in discriminatory pricing since some customers have received discounts for Sovaldi and others have not. Gilead gives deep discounts for the hepatitis C drug in some developing countries and has provided licenses to drug manufacturers in India, allowing the companies to sell the drug at a lower price.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and seeks monetary damages from Gilead, according to the report.

More articles on healthcare industry lawsuits:

Health Diagnostic Laboratory pursues dismissal of Cigna's $84M lawsuit
Rite Aid pays $2.99M for allegedly using gift cards to get Medicare, Medicaid business
Lawmakers urge high court to hear PPACA 'death panel' challenge


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